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Puoltsfjea at tfje Cfjarge of tfye iffilassadjusetts ^istarical &rust JFuno. 



JHnfocrsttg Press: 
John Wilson and Son, Cambridge. 




Officers of the Society, elected April 10, 1890 . . . vii 

Resident Members viii 

Honorary and Corresponding Members x 

Members Deceased xii 

Belknap Papers 1 

Index 633 




Elected April 10, 1890. 

Rev. GEORGE E. ELLIS, D.D., LL.D. ....... Boston. 




Jlecorbing ^ctrciarg. 
Rev. EDWARD J. YOUNG, D.D Waltham. 

(lorasjjonbincj Shcrdarg. 


Hon. SAMUEL A. GREEN, M.D Boston. 

Cabinet- Ji^jjer. 

fecutibc Committee of % Council. 





EDWARD J. LOWELL, A.M , . . Boston. 





Hon. Robert C. AVinthrop, LL.D. 

Rev. George E. Ellis, LL.D. 

Rev. Lucius R. Paige, D.D. 

Henry Wheatland, M.D. 

Francis Park man, LL.D. 

Oliver Wendell Holmes, D.C.L. 

Hon. Leverctt Saltonstall, A.M. 

Henry W. Torrey, LL.D. 
Rev. Robert C. Waterston, A'.M. 

Hon. Samuel A. Green, M.D. 
Charles Eliot Norton, LL.D. 

Rev. Edward E. Hale, D.D. 
Rev. Andrew P. Peabody, D.D. 
Hon. Horace Gray, LL.D. 
Rev. Edwards A. Park, LL.D. 


William IT. Whitmore, A.M. 

Hon. James Russell Lowell, D.C.L. 

lion. William C. Endicott, LL.D. 
Hon. E. Rockwood Hoar, LL.D. 

Josiah P. Quincy, A.M. 
Samuel Eliot, LL.D. 

Henry G. Denny, A.M. 

Charles C. Smith, A.M. 
Hon. George S. Hale, A.M. 

William S. Appleton, A.M. 
Hon. Theodore Lyman, S.B. 

Abner C. Goodell, Jr., A.M. 
Edward D. Harris, Esq. 

Augustus T. Perkins, A.M. 

Hon. Mellen Chamberlain, LL.D. 
Winslow Warren, LL.B. 
Charles W. Eliot, LL.D. 

Charles F. Dunbar, A.B. 
Charles Francis Adams, A.B. 
William P. Upham, A.B. 



Fitch Edward Oliver, M.D. 
William Everett, Litt.D. . 
George B. Chase, A.M. 
Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge, Ph.D. 

John T. Morse, Jr., A.B. 
Justin Winsor, LL.D. 
J. Elliot Cabot, LL.D. 

Henry Lee, A.M. 
Gamaliel Bradford, A.B. 
Rev. Edward J. Young, D.D. 
Hon. John Lowell, LL.D. 
Abbott Lawrence, A.M. 

Rev. Phillips Brooks, D.D. 
William W. Greenough, A.B. 
Robert C. Winthrop, Jr., A.M. 
Henry W. Haynes, A.M. 

Thomas W. Higginson, A.M. 
Rev. Edward G. Porter, A.M. 
John C. Ropes, LL.B. 

Rev. Henry F. Jenks, A.M. 
Hon. Samuel C. Cobb. 
Horace E. Scudder, A.M. 
Rev. Edmund F. Slafter, D.D. 
Stephen Salisbury, A.M. 
John T. Hassam, A.M. 
Rev. Alexander McKenzie, D.D. 

Arthur Lord, A.B. 
Arthur B. Ellis, LL.B. 
Clement Hugh Hill, A.M. 
Frederick W. Putnam, A.M. 
James M. Bugbee, Esq. 

Hon. John D. Washburn, LL.B. 
Rev. Egbert C. Smyth, D.D. 

Francis A. Walker, LL.D. 
Rev. Arthur L. Perry, LL.D. 

Hon. John E. Sanford, A.M. 
Uriel II. Crocker, LL.B. 
Hon. Martin Brimmer, A.B. 
Roger Wolcott, LL.B. 
William G. Russell, LL.D. 
Edward J. Lowell, A.M. 
Edward Channing, Ph.D. 

Hon. Lincoln F. Brigham, LL.D. 
Edward Bangs, LL.B. 

Samuel F. McCleary, A.M. 
William W. Goodwin, D.C.L. 
Hon. George F. Hoar, LL.D. 
Rev. Alexander V. G. Allen, D.D. 

Charles G. Loring, A.M. 
Rev. Octavius B. Frothingham, A.M. 
Solomon Lincoln, A.M. 
Edwin P. Seaver, A.M. 

Albert B. Hart, Ph D. 
Thornton K. Lothrop, LL.B. 
George O. Shattuck, LL.B. 
James B. Thayer, LL.B. 
Hon. Henry S. Nourse, A.M. 

Henry Fitz-Gilbert Waters, A.M. 
Edwin Lassetter Bynner, Esq. 
Hamilton Andrews Hill, A.M. 
William S. Shurtleff, A.M. 
Abbott Lawrence Lowell, LL.B. 



Hon. George Bancroft, D.C.L. 
J. Hammond Trumbull, LL.D. 

Rev. William S. Southgate, A.M. 
John Gilmary Shea, LL.D. 



James Anthony Froude, M.A. 

Edward A. Freeman, D.C.L. 

lit. Rev. Lord A. C. Hervey, D.D. 

David Masson, LL.D. 

S.A.R. le comte de Paris. 

Rt. Rev. William Stubbs, D.D. 

Hon. William M. Evarts, LL.D. 

Theodor Mommsen. 

Marquis de Rochambeau. 

John Robert Seeley, LL.D. 

William E. H. Lecky, LL.D. 

Very Rev. Charles Merivale, D.D. 

Ernst Curtius. 

Hon. Carl Schurz, LL.D. 




Hon. William H. Trescot. 
George H. Moore, LL.D. 
William Noel Sainsbury, Esq. 
Benson J. Lossing, LL.D. 
Lyman C. Draper, LL.D. 
Goldwin Smith, D.C.L. 
George Ticknor Curtis, A.B. 
Hon. John Meredith Read, A.M. 
Joseph Jackson Howard, LL.D. 
Richard Henry Major, F.S.A. 
Rev. Edmond de Pressense, D.D. 
Charles J. Stille, LL.D. 
William W.' Story, D.C.L. 
M. Jules Marcou. 
Thomas B. Akins, D.C.L. 
M. Pierre Margry. 
Charles J. Hoadly, LL.D. 
John Foster Kirk, Esq. 
Benjamin Scott, Esq. 
Hon. Charles H. Bell, LL.D. 
Rev. Edward D. Neill, D.D. 
Rev. Thomas Hill, LL.D. 
Hon. Manning F. Force, LL.B. 
Sir Bernard Burke, C.B., LL.D. 
Samuel Rawson Gardiner, LL.D. 
Hon. John Bigelow, LL.D. 
George William Curtis, LL.D. 
Henry Charles Lea, LL.D. 
Hubert H. Bancroft, A.M. 
Rev. Richard S. Storrs, LL.D. 
M. Gustave Vapereau. 

William F. Poole, LL.D. 

Rev. E. Edwards Beardsley, D.D. 

John Austin Stevens, A.B. 

Joseph F. Loubat, LL.D. 

Charles H. Hart, LL.B. 

Rev. Moses Coit Tyler, LL.D. 

Hermann von Hoist, Ph.D. 

Franklin B. Dexter, A.M. 

John M. Brown, A.M. 

Hon. Andrew D. White, LL.D. 

George W. Ranck, Esq. 

James M. Le Moine, Esq. 

Rt. Hon. Sir George O. Trevelyan, 

Bart., D.C.L. 
Henry Adams, A.B. 
Julius Dexter, A.B. 
Rev. Henry M. Baird, D.D. 
Hon. William Wirt Henry. 
Vicomte d'Haussonville. 
James Bryce, D.C.L. 
Rev. Charles R. Weld, B.D. 
Herbert B. Adams, Ph.D. 
Signor Cornelio Desimoni. 
Gen. George W. Cullum, U.S.A. 
Hon. Jabez L. M. Curry, LL.D. 
Amos Perry, A.M. 
Horatio Hale, A.M. 
Hon. William A. Courtenay. 
Rev. Mandell Creighton, LL.D. 
John Andrew Doyle, M.A. 



Members who have died since the last volume of the Proceedings was issued, Oct. 9, 
1890, arranged in the order of their election, and with date of death. 


Rev. Henry M. Dexter, LL.D Nov. 13, 1890. 

Hon. Charles Devens, LL.D Jan. 7, 1891. 



IT1HE Ret. Dr. Jeremy Belknap has been designated 
by common consent as the chief among the found- 
ers of the Massachusetts Historical Society ; and at 
the end of a Century from the formation of the Society 
it has been thought appropriate to print a volume of 
selections from his miscellaneous correspondence now in 
our possession. Dr. Belknap had the characteristic habits 
of an antiquary, and carefully preserved the letters which 
he received from his personal friends, as well as the letters 
and other documents which he gathered in prosecuting 
his historical researches. Some of these he gave to the 
Society during his life, and many more have been added 
to its manuscript treasures by gift from his daughter, 
the late Miss Elizabeth Belknap, and his granddaughter, 
Mrs. Jules Marcou. In March, 1858, our lamented as- 
sociate, Charles Deane, presented an elaborate report on 
the most important of these donations, and printed in 
the Proceedings some selections from the papers then 
received ; in 1876, as chairman of the Publishing Com- 
mittee for the Collections, he edited two volumes of the 
correspondence between Dr. Belknap and Ebenezer 
Hazard ; and at several other times he communicated 
less important documents which were derived from the 
same source. In 1882, another valued member, the late 
George Dexter, printed in the Proceedings Dr. Belknap's 


" Journal of a Visit to the Oneida Indians." In the pres- 
ent volume will be found selections from Dr. Belknap's 
familiar correspondence from 1766 to 1798, numerous 
letters which came into his possession while engaged in 
the preparation of the History of New Hampshire, and a 
minute account of the difficulties between him and his 
parish at Dover, N. II., together with other papers of his- 
torical or biographical interest. 

Unfortunately, Dr. Belknap kept copies of but few of 
his letters to personal friends ; and much of his corre- 
spondence which probably remains has not been recovered. 
From references in the letters sent to him, and from the 
occasional rough drafts preserved by him, as well as from 
the correspondence with Mr. Hazard, it is evident that 
he was a very interesting and suggestive letter writer, 
and the loss or disappearance of so many of his own let- 
ters must be greatly regretted. The letters given to him 
for their historical interest and value relate for the most 
part to the state of the country just before the Revolu- 
tion, and are well worth preserving. The narrative of 
the troubles at Dover is believed to be the most minute 
and trustworthy document of the kind now existing ; but 
the circumstances of the case were not peculiar, and it 
is known that in many other parishes the depreciation of 
the paper currency, during the Revolution and after 
peace was won, produced a similar state of affairs. 

The letters now printed are very miscellaneous in 
character, and not one was written for any eye but that 
of the person to whom it was sent, or of some intimate 
friend. Many of them are marked by extreme careless- 
ness of expression, showing how little attention w r as paid 
to grammar and spelling by the best educated persons, 
even so late as the end of the last century. It has not 
been thought desirable to correct these errors, or to spell 


out the abbreviations, which are numerous and character- 
istic of the writers. With the exception of making the 
use of capitals and italics, and the punctuation, con- 
form to the rules generally adopted in our own time, the 
letters have been printed just as the committee found 
them. They throw much light on the social, political, 
and literary life of the period in which they were written; 
and their entire freedom from reserve gives them a spe- 
cial value. As Mr. Deane wrote in the Preface to the 
Correspondence between Dr. Belknap and Mr. Hazard, 
" The freedom with which this correspondence was con- 
ducted on both sides, after the acquaintance of the parties 
to it had ripened into friendship and intimacy, would 
have operated as an obstacle to its publication at a much 
earlier period ; but time disposes of all such questions." 

The life of Dr. Belknap was written with conscien- 
tious fidelity and accuracy many years ago by his grand- 
daughter ; and its incidents are well known by every 
student of our literary history, in which he must always 
be a conspicuous figure. They need not be rehearsed 
here, except in the briefest outline. He was the eldest 
son of Joseph and Sarah (Byles) Belknap, and was born 
in Boston, June 4, 1744. At the age of seven he 
entered the Public Latin School, where he remained 
through the whole course of seven years, and then en- 
tered Harvard College. He graduated in 1762, having 
among his classmates Chief Justice Francis Dana, El- 
bridge Gerry, and the younger Andrew Eliot. After 
graduating, he taught school in Milton, Mass., and in 
Portsmouth and Greenland, N. H. ; and in February, 
1767, he was ordained as colleague pastor of the First 
Parish in Dover. In the following June he was mar- 
ried to Ruth, daughter of Samuel Eliot, of Boston. On 
the death of the senior minister of the Dover church, 


in March, 1769, he became its sole minister. In this 
office he continued until the latter part of 1786, when, 
as the final issue of protracted difficulties, growing out 
of the depreciation of the currency and the consequent 
inadequacy of his support, his relations with the church 
and parish were terminated by the acceptance of his 
resignation, which had been tendered some time before. 
In April, 1787, he was installed as minister of the 
church in Long Lane, Boston, afterward called the Fed- 
eral Street Church, and now known as the Arlington 
Street Church. Here he found many friends, and lei- 
sure to engage more actively than before in the histori- 
cal and literary pursuits to which he was always warmly 
attached. In 1792 he received from Harvard College the 
honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. He died sud- 
denly of apoplexy, on the 20th of June, 1798, being at 
that time but little more than fifty-four years old. 

Dr. Belknap was a frequent and valued contributor 
to newspapers and other periodicals; and about the 
time of his removal to Boston he was offered the edi- 
torial charge of a magazine in Philadelphia, with a 
salary considerably larger than that which had been 
promised him at Dover. The more important of his in- 
dependent publications were his History of New Hamp- 
shire, of which the first volume was published in 1784, 
the second in 1791, and the third in 1792, and the 
American Biography, of which the first volume was 
published in 1794, and a second volume was passing 
through the press at the time of his death. Besides 
these he published, in 1792, a Discourse delivered be- 
fore the Historical Society on the Three Hundredth 
Anniversary of the Discovery of America; in 1795, a 
Collection of Psalms and Hymns, which long retained 
its place in the Congregationalist churches; in 1796, a 


humorous account of the settlement of New England 
and the quarrel with the mother country, entitled "The 
Foresters/* a part of which had been printed in the 
Columbian Magazine; and, between 1772 and 1798, 
several occasional sermons. Of the History of New 
Hampshire, so competent a judge as the late John 
Gorham Palfrey expressed the opinion, in an address 
before this Society, in October, 1844, that " to take a 
very high rank among writings of its class, it wanted 
little besides a better theme. " Dr. Belknap's other 
writings enjoyed a well merited popularity during his 
life, and a new edition of the American Biography 
was published nearly half a century after his death. 

The first plan of the Historical Society appears to 
have been formed by him in the summer of 1790; and 
in August of that year he drew up a plan for an Anti- 
quarian Society, " for the purpose of collecting, preserv- 
ing, and communicating the antiquities of America," 
which was submitted to several friends. It was re- 
ceived with favor ; but nothing was formally done until 
January 24, 1791, when eight gentlemen met at the 
house of William Tudor, Esq., in Court Street. They 
were Jeremy Belknap, the Rev. John Eliot, minister of 
the New North Church, Rev. James Freeman, minister 
of King's Chapel, James Sullivan, afterward Governor of 
Massachusetts, Rev. Peter Thacher, minister of Brattle 
Street Church, William Tudor, an eminent lawyer in 
Boston, Thomas Wallcut, a zealous antiquary, and James 
Winthrop, of Cambridge, for many years Librarian of 
Harvard College, and afterward Judge of the Middlesex 
Court of Common Pleas. To these names must be added 
the names of two other gentlemen whom they associ- 
ated with themselves as original members, and who have 
ever since been so regarded, — William Baylies, a well 


known physician of Dighton, who had served in each 
Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, and George Rich- 
ards Minot, author of a History of Massachusetts and of 
a History of Shays's Rebellion. In the plan first adopted 
by them the number of members was to be limited to 
thirty, but by the act of incorporation, granted by the 
Legislature in 1794, this number was raised to sixty, 
and by an additional act of the Legislature, passed in 
1857, the limit to resident members was placed at one 
hundred. No other important modification of the origi- 
nal plan has ever been proposed ; and it is along the 
lines marked out by Dr. Belknap and his associates that 
the work of the Society has been prosecuted. 

For the Committee, 

Boston, January 24, 1891. 






Ipsw ch , Septem. 22, 1724. 

S^ — I receivd your letter, and am wel satisfied as to 
the points you writ about. 

I desire you would give my hearty respects to my 
good friends at Portsmouth, and please to let them know 
that I am deeply concern'd for them. 

'Tis the opinion of almost all unprejudiced persons that 
the circumstances of Portsmouth are such as that they- 
ought to be reliev'd in an extraordinary way, namely, 
by the translation of a minister to them. But this can't 
be regularly done according to the constitution of this 
country without a council of elders and messengers. 
And the method w c . h D r Mather has directed to is, that 
the church of Portsmouth should send messengers to the 
church of Tpswich to make an offer of joyning with them 

* Rev. Jabez Fitch was the son of Rev. James Fitch, and was born in Norwich, Conn., in 
April, 1672. He graduated at Hanrard College in 1694, and in October, 1703, was settled in 
Ipswich, as colleague with Rev. John Rogers. " As he and his people did not agree about 
a part of what he considered his salary," says Mr. Felt, " he became cool in his attachment 
to them, and thought of some other place for his labors." An Ecclesiastical Council 
which convened at Boston, Oct. 29, 1724, decided that it was best for him to leave Ipswich, 
and, after appointing a committee to confer with the church in that place, adjourned to 
Nov. 17. The people were unwilling to release him, and it was not until more than a year 
after he left Ipswich that the financial differences between him and his late charge were 
settled by arbitration. He continued at Ipswich until Dec. 13, 1724, and some time in the 
following year was installed at Portsmouth, N. H. He died there Nov. 22, 1746. This 
letter is without an address, but the internal evidence shows that it was sent to some 
gentleman in Portsmouth. It may have come into Mr. Belknap's possession at the time of 
his differences with the church in Dover, or it may have been among the historical docu- 
ments mentioned by him, in the Preface to the History of New Hampshire, as collected by 
Mr. Fitch. (See Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. x. p. 50; Felt's History of Ipswich, pp. 236, 237, 
347.)— Eds. 


in the choice of a council ; and if the church of Ipswich 
refuse to joyn with them, they may then call a council 
themselves. And D r Mather propos'd that the council 
should meet at Boston. And I think they had far better 
meet at Boston than anywhere else. There will be no 
occasion in such a case as this for a publick meeting of 
the council, but they may meet in a private house to 
hear what shal be offer'd to their consideration by repre- 
sentatives from the church of Portsmouth, and also from 
the church of Ipswich, if they see good to send any. 
Now this affair may be transacted in Boston with far less 
noise and trouble than anywhere else. 

And for my own part I have such a deep concern for 
Portsmouth, and such a dread of the unhappy conse- 
quences of their being disappointed in their present 
design, that, as I cannot regularly accept their invitation 
without the advice of a council, so I dare not refuse it 
unless I am so advis'd by a council. And this is what I 
shal declare to the church of Ipswich, if the church of 
Portsmouth sees good to make application to them in 
order to the calling of a council. And if my circum- 
stances were never so much mended in Ipsw ch , yet if the 
ministers in a regular council, according to the method 
of this country, shall determine that the circumstances of 
Portsmouth are such that 'tis expedient they be reliev'd 
by the translation of a minister, and will advise to my 
translation, I shal think myself oblig'd in honour and 
conscience to accept the kind offer of your people. 

The church of Ipsw ch has express'd their lothness tc 
part with me, and has sent a letter to your church (tho' 
without acquainting me with it). I thank them for the 
honour they have done me in manifesting their unwilling- 
ness to part with me, but 'tis not likely they shoulc 
allow y r case a due consideration. And I believe ] 
know the circumstances of Ipsw cb as wel as any man 
and if I speak from my heart I must declare I know o: 

1724.] DRAFT OF A LETTER. 5 

no breach either in church or town that can ensue upon 
my leaving them. 

Having, therfore, advis'd with some of the gravest 
ministers in the land, as D r Mather, Father Wise, Father 
Payson, &c., they all agree that the case of your people 
is a case of such importance that it requires a council, 
w ch I think may be obtain' d without any great trouble. 

It may not, perhaps, on some accounts, be expiedient 
for me to come to Portsmouth at present, but I shal be 
glad to meet with the messengers that were chosen, or, if 
they cannot conveniently come, any other of your gentle- 
men, and with them shal concert the measures that are 
proper to be taken. For I would not delay any longer, 
but shal now prosecute the matter 'till I see the end 
of it ; imploring the Divine direction and conduct, and 
hoping to see a good issue of all. 

I chuse to meet the messengers at Salsbury, at the 
Rev d M r . Cushing's, on Monday next. I shall (God 
willing) be there by the middle of the day. Please to 
give my humble service to his Hon 1 , and the other gen- 
tlemen, and take the first opportunity to inform his Hon! 
of what I have written. 

I am, S r , y r . affectionate friend and most humble ser- 
vant, Jabez Fitch. 


To the First Church of Christ in Jpswich, the First Church in Portsmouth 
sendeth greeting. Grace and peace in our Lord Jesus. 

Christian Friends, — God in his holy providence 
having (some time since) taken away our worthy pastor, 
we doubt not of your Christian sympathy with us under 

* This draft is in the handwriting of Rev. Jabez Fitch, and probably came into the 
possession of Mr. Belknap from the same source as the preceding letter. — Eds. 


our bereaved circumstances.* And those of you that are 
acquainted with the circumstances of our town must 
needs be sensible of how great consequence it is to the 
interest of religion, not only in our town, but in all the 
neighbourhood, that we be settled under the ministry of a 
suitable person as to age and experience, as well as other 
qualifications ; and Divine Providence having dispos'd 
our people to a great unanimity in ch using the R? M r 
Fitch to the work of the ministry with us, if his removal 
from you can be regularly obtain'd ; we therfore apply 
ourselves to you, requesting that you would consider our 
destitute circumstances, and compare them with your 
own that are supply 'd with two ministers of the Gospel, 
and if you part with the R d M! Fitch to the special ser- 
vice to w ch he is caird in our town, you will have the 
very reverend and worthy Mf Rogers with you, under 
whose conduct a younger person may comfortably & con- 
veniently carry on the work of the Gospel with you.f 

We read of a vision appearing to Paul in the night. 
There stood a man of Macedonia and prayed him, saying, 
" Come over into Macedonia and help us." And tho' 
visions are not to be expected in these times, yet being 
sensible of our need of the lik help that the Macedonians 
did, we think ourselves in the way of our duty to entreat 
y e help of the R d M r Fitch in the work of the Gospel. 
And we hope that you will be brought to a complyance 
with our desires by a due consideration of that excellent 
rule, To do as you would be done by. Those that are 
under necessitous circumstances themselves are apt to 
think it reasonable] that they should be supply'd by 
others that are capable of doing it. Make but our case 

* Rev. Na'hanael Rogers, of Portsmouth, died Oct. 3, 1723. He was a son of John 
Rogers, afterward President of Harvard College, was born at Ipswich, Feb. 22, 16G9, and 
graduated at Harvard College in 1687.— Ens. 

f Rev. «lo'»n R"L'ers of Ipswich was an older brother of Rev. Nathanael Rogers. He 
was born July 7, 16G6, graduated at Harvard College in 1G84, and died Dec. 28, 1745. 
— Eds. 

1766.] CERTIFICATE. 7 

your own, and you cannot think it hard or unreasonable 
that we are desireous of one of your ministers. And in- 
asmuch as we are required to do good unto all men, 
especially unto them that are of the household of faith, 
w ch precept respects the spirituall as well as temporal good 
of such, we pray you to consider whether you are not 
obliged in this way to be willing to promote the spirituall 
good of a sister church by consenting that the R d M r 
Fitch should engage in the work of the ministry with us. 
So comending you to God and the word of His grace, 
we remain 

Y r sincere friends in the fellowship of y e Gospel. 

Let some subscribe in the name of the rest of the members of 
the church. 


Portsm°,N. Hampshire, March 12 th , 1766. 

This may certify all persons whom it may concern that 
we, the subscribers, having examined M r Jeremiah Bel- 
knap, Jun*, who has offered himself to engage in the 
work of the sacred ministry for the service of the church 
if he should be found qualified, are fully satisfied that he 
is well furnished with natural & acquired accomplish- 
ments for this important employment; that he appears 
in particular to have a good degree of knowlege of the 
Holy Scriptures ; & to be governed by a sincere aim to 
advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ in under- 

* Rev. Samuel Langdon, D.D., then of Portsmouth, and afterward President of Harvard 
College, was the colleague and successor of Rev. Jabez Fitch. He was born Jan. 12, 1723, 
graduated at Harvard College in 1740, and died Nov. 29, 1797. Rev. Benjamin Stevens, 
D.D., of Kittery, Me., was the maternal grandfather of Rev. Joseph Stevens Buckminster. 
He was born May 4, 1721, was a classmate of Rev. Samuel Langdon, and died May 18, 
1791. Rev. Samuel Haven, D.D., of the South Parish, Portsmouth, N. H., was born in 
Framingham, Mass., Aug. 4, 1727, graduated at Harvard College in 1749, and died March 
3, 1806. Rev. Samuel Macclintock, D D., of Greenland, N. FT., was born in Medford, 
Mass., May 1, 1732, graduated at Princeton, N. J., in 1751, and died April 27, 1804. — Eds. 



taking to preach the Gospel ; & therefore we do hereby 
heartily recommend him to ministers & churches as a 
candidate for the ministry, who deserves encouragement 
& is likely to promote the everlasting welfare of the 
souls of men. And we wish him much of the Divine 
presence & assistance in that great work upon which 
he is entring, trusting that Providence will open a door 
for his usefulness in some particular church, where he 
may make full proof of his ministry & be a rich blessing 
for many years to come. 

Sam 1, Langdon. 

Benj n Stevens. 

Sam l Haven. 

Sam l Macclintock. 

To M r . Jeremiah Belknap, at Greenland. 
At M k . Maclintock's, in Greenland, May 31, 17GG. 

My dear Sir, — From several hints I have had of 
your character I have been determined to seek an oppor- 
tunity of some acquaintance with you, in hopes you 
would be inclind to accept a mission among the 6 Na- 
tions the ensuing summer. A wide door seems to be 
opening, for one who has a heart full of love to the great 
Kedeemer, for great usefulness. And besides the proper 
business of your mission, you will likely have the inspec- 
tion and conduct of a school (or perhaps several schools) 
at the same place. 

I am sorry I miss the opportunity of an interview with 
you here, but however, as you will likely chuse the 

* Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, D.D., first President of Dartmouth College, was born in 
Windham, Conn., April 22. 1711, graduated at Yale College in 1733, and was ordained as 
minister of the Second Society in Lebanon, Conn., in 1735. Here he established the school 
for the education of Indian youths, known as Moor's Indian Charity School. After the 
grant of a charter to Dartmouth College, he removed, in 1770, to Hanover, N. H., where he 
died, April 24, 1779. — Eds. 

1766.] PETER THACHER. 9 

advice & concurrance of your parents in an affair of 
such importance, perhaps it will be as well, if you are 
inclin'd to undertake in the business, to meet me at 
Boston, next Tuesday evening, at My Moses Peck's, 
watchmaker, where I have some small hope of seeing 
M" Kirkland with the chief warrior of the Seneca tribe, 
by whom you may get a more full account of Indians & 
Indian affairs than you can have from any other man in 
New England. I pray God to direct your way for you, 
and make you an instrument of much glory to His name 
and good to the souls of men whereever He may in His 
providence dispose of you. 

I am, dear Sir, with sincere respect, your unknown 
friend and humble serv*, 

Eleazar Wheelock. 

To the JRevf M r . Jeremiah Belknap, in Greenland, Piscataqua. 

Cambridge, May 22 d , 1766. 

Respected and dear Sir, — With the greatest pleas- 
ure I received your letter of the 19 th [illegible], for which 
condescension I am exceedingly obliged to you. It, i. e. 
your letter, puts me in mind of the times when that 
friendship commenc'd which has done me so much honour 
and made so many hours of my life agreable. Do you 
not remember when you kept school at Milton how 
openly and unreservedly you treated me, — how you ad- 
mitted me to your confidence altho' I was a child ? That 
treatment won my soul, and as it is my nature to use 
freedom with those I think my friends, I have used you 

* Rev. Peter Thaeher, D.D., one of the original members of the Historical Society, was 
the son of Oxenbridge Thaeher, and was born in Milton, Mass., March 21, 1752. He 
graduated at Harvard College in 1769, and in September of the following year he was 
ordained minister of the church in Maiden. In January, 1785, he became minister of the 
Brattle Street Church, Boston. He died Dec. 16, 1802. A memoir of him, by Rev. John 
Eliot, D.D., is in Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. viii., pp. 277-284. — Eds. 


with so much of it as I am afraid has been disagreable 
to you, but I hope from your wonted goodness you will 
pardon it. I am afraid I never shall spend my time so 
agreably again ; but to leave such melancholy thoughts 
and proceed to something more agreable. As to my 
present estate, I spend my time very agreably, & being 
sensible of the worth of the present time endeavour to 
improve it to the most advantage and to study diligently. 

I hear you have began to preach. I sincerely pray 
God to make you a great and extensive blessing in your 
day and generation, and that you may be the means of 
bringing home many souls unto the faith and fellowship 
of the Gospel. 

I sincerly thank you for your good advice & wishes 

to and for me, and should take it as a great favour if you 

would write to me soon if you have time. Excuse the 

freedom I take in this letter, & believe me to be, d r Sir, 

Y r affectionate friend and very humble servant, 

Peter Thacher. 

I have seen neither of Hill's brothers yet, so have not 
had opportunity to deliver your message. 

Excuse blunders, for I am a blunderer. 

June 3 d , 1766. I have not had an opportunity to send 
the above since the date of it, but still remain to be, 

Your ut supra, P. Thacher. 


Tuesday, November 25, 1766. At a meeting of the 
Church of Christ in Dover, regularly called, and for some 
special reasons adjourned till Tuesday, December 2 d , fol- 
lowing, and then meet according to adjournment in order 
to chuse and apply to some suitable person to settle in 
the Gospel ministry as pastor of this church, colleague 
with the Reverend M r Jonathan dishing, it was unani- 


mously voted that M r Jeremy Belknap be chosen and 
applied to to settle as aforesaid, and that Deacon Shadrack 
Hodgdon, Deacon Daniel Ham, and Cap* Stephen Evens 
be a committee to wate on M r Belknap and inform him 
of the aforesaid vote and choice of this church, and also 
to notify the selectmen of this parish of the aforesaid 
vote and choise, desiering them to call a meeting of the 
parishioners to see if they will concur with the aforesaide 
vote and settlement. 

Attest, Jon a Cusbtng, Pastor, 


At a meeting of the parishioners of the First Parish 
m Dover, held at their meeting-house on Monday y e 15 th 
day of Dec r , 17G6. 

Voted, 1 st . Otis Baker, Esq!, Moderator. 

2 dIy . Unanimously Voted, that the Parish concur with 
the vote of the Church of said Parish, & that M r Jere- 
miah Belknap is hereby unanimously called to settle in 
the Gospel ministry as a pastor of said parish & collegue 
with the Rev d M r Jonathan Cushing. 

3 dly . Unanimously Voted, that said Parish pay M r Jere- 
miah Belknap one hundred pounds lawful money yearly 
or every year as a sallery from the time of his accepting 
said call during the time he shall continue our minister & 
in full therefor, 

4 ly . Unanimously Voted, that the Parish give M r Bel- 
knap one hundred & fifty pounds lawful money & to be 
paid at the following periods, viz fc , fifty pounds in three 
months, & fifty pounds in six months, & fifty pounds in 
nine months next after his ordination, to be raised by the 

* The three documents which follow are written on a single sheet of paper. The 
signatures to the Committee's letter are autographs, — the letter itself being in the hand- 
writing of the parish clerk, whose attestation is appended to the other two documents. 
— Eds, 




selectmen of s d Parish for the time being:, which is to 
provide himself a convenient house to dwell in during 
his ministry amongst us ; or instead of said one hundred 
& fifty pounds, that the Parish shall provide him a con- 
venient house, barn, & garden during said term, & that 
is left to his determination & choice to accept the said 
one hundred & fifty pounds, or the house, barn, garden, 

5 ly . Voted, that the same committee that last was 
employ* to treat with M r Belknap, viz*, Otis Baker, Esq., 
Cap' Shadrach Hodgdon, Cap* Stephen Evens, L* Joshua 
Wingate, Major John Titcomb, Cap* Dudley Watson, & 
M r Nehemiah Kembal, with Deacon Daniel Ham added 
thereto, be the committee to apply to M r Belknap now & 
inform him of the votes of said Parish k receive his 
answer thereto, & report to the Parish as soon as may be. 

Then the meeting was adjourn d to Monday, y e 12 th 
day of Jan? next, at 1 o'clock afternoon. 
A true coppy. 

Attest, Eph m Hanson, Parish Cler. 

We, the subscribers, being appointed a committee as 
aforesaid, do now, according to the trust reposed in us 
present you with a copy of y e votes of y e said Parish, & 
desire you to take y e same under your consideration & 
enable us to make report at the adjourn^, as we are 

Dover, Deer 18, 17G6. 

To M T Jeremy Belknap. 

Otis Baker, 
Shadrach Hodgsdon, 
Daniel Ham, 
Nehemiah Kimbal, 
Step n Evens, 
John Titcomb, 
Joshua Wingate, 
Dudley Watson, 


of the 


At a meeting of the parishioners of the First Parish in 
Dover, held at their meeting house by adjournal* y e 19 th 
day of January, 1767. 

The meeting being opened, the aforesaid committee 
chosen to treat with M r Belknap made their report, & 
bro* M r Belknap's answer of his accepting the call & 
sallery voted to him by said Parish, & the vote of his 
settlement upon the following conditions, viz*, that two 
payments be paid him every year, viz*, one half at the end 
of every six months from the date of his accepting the 
call, & that as he has been offer d the choice of an house, 
barn, garden, & c , or one hundred & fifty pounds in lieu 
thereof, he accepts the said one hundred & fifty pounds, 
to be paid in the manner proposed ; & the parishioners 
then at said meeting voted to accept the answer of said 
M r Belknap, & that he be paid his settlement & sallery 

A true coppy from Dover First Parish Book of Records. 
Attest, Eph m Hanson, P. Gler. 

To the Parishioners of the First Parish in Dover. 

Your late call and proposals to me made I have taken 
into serious consideration, and as from various concurring 
circumstances the joint invitation of the Chh. & Parish 
here seems to be the voice of Divine Providence, I think 
it my duty with all humility to accept it, looking to y e 
great Head of the Chh. for grace & strength to fulfil the 
duty of a Gospel minister. 

Concerning the proposals of settlement, — tho' I had no 
objection to make to them, yet I did not think myself 

* The copy of this letter from which we print is in the handwriting of Mr. Belknap; 
and the attestation, except the words, "A true copy," is in that of Mr. Hanson. — Eds. 


qualified to judge whether they were sufficient for my 
comfortable subsistence in life, if it should please God 
that I should have a family, and therefore I tho't it ad- 
viseable to consult with some of my friends who were 
judges. Their opinion is, that, since I am to have no par- 
sonage land, there ought to be added to my annual salary 
as many cords of wood as will be necessary for the use 
& convenience of a family during the year. But seeing 
you have your aged & venerable pastor to care for in y e 
decline of life, I shall wave that matter, — not without 
hope that, should I live to see some of your present ex- 
pences terminate, you will make some provision of that 
kind for me, if you shall judge it necessary. 

The salary of £100 per ann. I accept, on condition that 
two payments be made every year, viz., one half at the 
end of every six months from the date hereof. And as 
you have offered me the choice of an house, &c, or .£150 
in lieu thereof, I accept y e said £150, to be paid in y e 
manner proposed. 

Having now devoted myself to y e service of God in 
the Gospel of his Son, & (as I trust) agreable to y e 
Divine Will taken on me the care of your souls, sensible 
of my own insufficiency to discharge this duty in a right 
manner, I must ask your earnest prayers for me that I 
may obtain mercy of the Lord to be faithful, and that 
my labours may be rewarded with abundant success. So 
shall your souls be my joy & crown of rejoicing at the 
second coming of Jesus Christ. 

Jeremy Belknap. 

Dover, January 19, 1767. 

A true copy of M r Jeremiah Belknap's answer to the 
call of the parishioners of the First Parish in Dover, as is 
recorded in the s d Parish Records. 

Attest, Eph m Hanson, Parish Cler. 


To the Brethren of the Church of Christ in Dover. 

I have taken into serious consideration your late 
unanimous call of me to be your pastor in conjunction 
with the Reverend M r Cushing ; and as it appears to be 
the voice of Divine Providence, I think it my duty to 
accept it. 

Sensible of my own insufficiency to discharge this great 
duty in a right manner, I ask your earnest prayers to God 
for me, that He would by His Spirit asist & strengthen 
me to fulfil my ministry. 

Your affectionate brother & servant in the Gospel of 

Jeremy Belknap. 

January 26, 1767. 


At a meeting of the brethren of y e Church in Dover, 
January 26, 1767. 

M r Belknap's answer to the Church's call was read. 
Whereupon the following votes were past : — 

1. That Wednesday, the 18 of February next, be the 
day for his solemn ordination. 

2. That 22 churches be desired to asist in said ordina- 
tion, viz. : Dr. Sewall's, Dr. Byles's, & Mr. Eliot's Churches 
in Boston ; the Church in Milton ; the First & Second 
Churches in Portsmouth ; the 2 Churches in Berwick ; the 
2 Churches in York ; the 3 Chhs. in Kittery ; the 2 Chhs. 
in Wells ; the Chhs. in Somersworlh, Rochester ', Lebanon, Bar- 
rington. Neivington, Durham, and Greenland. 

3. That Deacon Hodgsdon, Deacon Ham, & Esq. Baker 
be a comittee to sign the letters missive in y e behalf of 
the Church. 


4. That Cap* Evens be desired to send the letters, & 
that the Church pay him for his trouble & expence. 

5. That Cap* Evens, Esq. Baker, & M r lehabod Hayes 
be a comittee to join with y e comittee which the Parish 
may chuse to make provision for the entertainment of the 
elders and delegates on the ordination day. 

Jon a Cushing, Pastor. 



To the Rev d M r Jonathan Cushing in Dover, to be complicated. 

Eev d & Beloved, — Grace & peace be multiplied to 
you from God y e Father & our Ld Jesus Christ. 

Whereas, M r Jeremiah Belknap, Jun r , was some time 
past admitted to full comunion w th us, & has desir'd a 
dismission to you, these are to certify y fc we, y e subscrib- 
ers, w th consent of our brethren of y e South Chh. in 
Boston, dismiss & recomend him to your watch & fellow- 
ship. And whereas we are inform'd y fc you have chosen 
him to y e pastoral office as colleague wth y e Kev d W 
Cushing, we pray God y fc in their united ministry you 
may obtain y e fulness of y e blessing of y e Gospel of 
Christ. And asking your prayers for us & y e flock under 
our pastoral care, we are your brethren in y e faith & 
fellowship of y e Gospel. 

Joseph Sewall, 
Sam l Blair, 
Pastors of if South Chh. in Boston. 
Boston, Febr. 9, 1767. 

P. S. Your letter was read to y e Chh., & tho' y e pastors 
cant attend y e service, yet y y have sent some of our br n 

* The original is in the handwriting of the Rev. Dr. Sewall. —Eds. 


to attend y e import* affair of y e ordinate & desire y* y e 
glorious Head of y e Chh. would be present w fch you in y* 

To the Chh. of Christ in Dover. 


At a meeting of the brethren of the Chh. of Christ in 
Dover, Feb ry 16, 1767. 

On receiving and reading a letter from the pastors of 
the South Chh. in Boston, containing a dismission & 
recommendation of M r Jeremy Belknap from their com- 
munion to ours, — 

1. Voted, that M r Belknap be accordingly received into 
communion with this Church. 

2. Voted, that Deac n Hodgsdon, Deac n Ham, & Cap* 
Evens be a comittee to represent the Chh. before the 
Council on the approach 5 day of ordination. 

Jon a Cushing, Pastor. 


Dover, Feb? 18, 1767. 

A Council of 20 churches convened at Dover at the 
request of the church under the pastoral care of the 
Rev a M r Jonathan Cushing, in order to the ordination of 
M r Jeremy Belknap to the office of a co-pastor with their 
aged pastor afores d ; the churches present being all which 
were voted & sent to by the church except R d D r Byles's 
& Rev d M r Elliot's at Boston. 

Voted, that the Rev d M r Cushing be Moderator & D T 
Langdon the Scribe of the Council. 

The Council then proceeded, after humble supplications 
to the glorious Head of the Church, to enquire into the 



votes of the Church & Parish relating to M r Belknap's 
call, & full satisfaction being given to the Council as to 
the call, & likewise as to M r Belknap's qualifications for 
the work of the ministry & readiness of mind in conse- 
crating himself to the service of God in the Gospel of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, it was voted, — 

That this Council will proceed to the ordination of M r 
Jeremy Belknap to the work of the ministry in this 
place, & the office of a pastor of the church here, as a 
colleague with the Rev d M r Jonathan Cushing. 

Accordingly, the Council, having assigned the several 
parts of the solemnity to proper persons among the 
elders present, went into the meeting-house, & before a 
very numerous assembly carried on the ordination. The 
Rev d M r Robbins of Milton opened the solemnity with 
prayer. The Rev d M r Haven preached a sermon w r ell 
adapted to the occasion from I Timo. 4. 15. The Rev d 
M r dishing then prayed & gave the charge, with the 
imposition of the hands of all the elders in the pulpit. 
The Rev d M r Pike gave the right hand of fellowship, and 
D r Langrlon concluded with prayer. Thus we hope God 
has given the church in this place a pastor after his own 
heart, to feed them with knowlege & understanding. 

Jon a Gushing, Moderator. 

Original Minutes. Attest r , Sam l Langdon, Scribe. 


I believe y 1 there is one infinite, eternal, incomprehen- 
sible God, who is a Being of y e most perfect wisd°, pow r ? 

* Tliis is Mr. Belknap's own heading, and shows the date at which the Confession was 
drawn up. From his indorsement, it appears to have been communicated to the Council con- 
vened for his ordination at Dover in the following week Tlie original manuscript covers 
between eitrlit and nine pages, and has numerous erasures and interlineations. The abbre- 
viations need no explanation. — Eds. 


holiness, justice, goodness, & truth, the Creator, Pre- 
server, & Governor of all things visible and invisible, and 
y* these truths are discoverable by y e light of nature. 

I believe y* y e Scrip of 0. & N. Test, contain a full 
divine revela of truth & duty to men, and from these 
sacred & infalible oracles I have learned the follow 8 doc- 
trines, w h are y° articles of my faith. 

1. That y e Scrip acco of y e nature, perfec 11 , & provd ce 
of G. is agreeable to what y e light of nature teaches con- 
cern 8 y m . 

2. That there are 3 w h bear record in heaven, y e Fath r , 
y e Word, & y e H. G., & y* these 3 are one in being, per- 
fec 11 , & glory. 

3. That G. as the moral Gov r of O has given to all his 
ratio 1 creat 8 a law written on their hearts, w h law, being 
founded in eternal truth & righteousness, is an invariable 
rule of duty to all mankind. 

4. That mank'd were created at first inocent & upright, 
but they are now in a fallen ruined state. 

5. That by one man sin entred into O, & y e wages of 
sin is death, and y* all mankind were so included in & 
represented by y e first man y* on acco* of his disobedi- 
ence they are subject to y e same punishm* w h was threate- 
ned to him. 

6. That by personal obedience to y e law no flesh living 
can be justified, & unless y e law be perfectly fulfilled, & 
complete satisfac 11 be made to divine justice, no man can 
be saved, & therefore y e whole O is guilty & condemned. 

7. That y e mediatorial scheme of redemption is y e 
effect of God's sov gn free grace. That a certain determi- 
nate numb' of y e sons of men were by y e sov gn free grace 
of God before y e found 11 of predestinated to y e adop 
of child 11 & chosen by G. unto salva thro' sanctifica of 
y e Sp. & belief of y e truth. 

8. That because of y e infinite evils of sin it was nec y 
y* y e divine & human natures should be united in one 


person to constitute a proper mediator between God 
& man. 

9. That Jesus X is y e Son of G. & y e Son of Man by a 
mysterious conjunction of y e divine & human natures in 
his person, & therefore he is the only mediator between 
G. & man. 

10. That Jesus X is y e true Messiah, or y e anointed 
Prophet, Priest, & King, who was prophesied of & prom- 
ised in y e 0. Test, to be y e Sav r & Redeemer of his people. 

11. That in y e fulness of time G. sent his Son into O, 
y* he lived a holy, sinless life, pr d many excellent doct 8 , 
wro't many convinc g miracles, gath d a small company of 
disciples who were witnesses of y e great things he did 
& suffered, & was crucified on M° Calvary by y e Jews. 
But tho' they were permitted to Mil if Prince of Life, 
yet his death was y e voluntary act of his own mind, so 
y fc he offered up himself as a vicarious, expiatory sacri- 
fice for sin. 

12. That G. has accepted this great sacrifice as satis- 
factory to his justice & has given asurance thereof to all 
men by rais g his Son from y e dead and exalt g him to his 
right hand in y e heavens, where he lives forever to make 
intercess 11 for his pp le . 

13. That J., by his active & passive obed ce has bro't in 
an cverlast 9 R'g'ss w h is y e only & imediate ground or matter 
of a siner's justifica. 

14. That all those who were given to X by G. y e Fath r 
as y e reward of his humilia & suff g are justified by y e 
imputa of his perfect r'g'ss to y m when thro' y e agency 
of y e divine Sp. they are bro't to believe in y e name of 
y e only begotten Son of G. 

1 5. That y* EL G. is a divine agent, whose office it is 
effectually to apply y e r'd'mp. purchased by X to those 
who were chosen in him before y e found" of O by en- 
light g their understand 5 , subduing their wills, enabl 8 y m to 
believe in X, & y' y e same Sp. continues in y m , weakn g 


their corruptions, strengthning their graces, comforting 
their souls, witness 2 their adop & seal g y m to y e day of 

16. That faith w h y e Scrip requires in order to justifica 
is distinct from a bare speculative knol ge of y e doct s of y e 
Gosp 1 , & y e way to disting sh it from a false or dead faith 
is by its fruits & opera. 

17. That y e genuine & inseparable fruits of true faith 
are humble confidence in y e righteousness of X alone for 
justifica, sincere love to God & his Son, godly sorrow & 
repent 06 for sin, & purposes of new & universal obed 06 . 

18. That those who have believed in God ought to be 
careful to maintain good works, or to live soberly, right- 
eously, & godly in O, — not that these good works have 
in y m selves any merit, but only as they are performed by 
grace & strength de[r]ived from X, & in obed ce to his Gosp 1 , 
they will be graciously rewarded at the Great Day. 

19. That the Scrip speaks of 2 kinds of justifica w h 
differ in respect to y e author, y e subj., y e ground, & y e time of 
justifica. Of y e one y e author is God y e Father, y e subj 8 
are ungodly sinners, y e ground is y e redemption in X, & y e 
time is when they believe in Jesus. Of y e other, X as 
mediatorial K 9 is y e author, pe?"sever 9 saints are y e subj 8 , 
sincere obed ce is y e ground, & y e Day of Gen 1 Judgm* is y e 
time. So y* 'tis no contradiction when it is said in Scrip 
that we are justified freely by y e grace of G., & y t every 
man shall be rewarded acord s to his works. 

20. That all persons of whatever age or nation who 
sincerely believe, love, & obey y e Gospel of Jesus X do 
compose one spiritual, invisible Church or mystical body, 
of w h J is the only supreme Head. 

21. That all who make a credible profess 11 of faith 
& repentance are to be accounted members of y e Chris- 
tian Church & have a visible right to all its external ordi- 
nances & privileges. 

22. That X has appointed baptism & the Lord's sup- 


per to be stand g ordinances in his Church, till his second 

23. That y e infant children of all who are visible mem- 
bers of y e C bh of X may be baptized with water in y e 
name of y e Father, Son, & Holy Ghost. 

24. That those who have been baptized in their infancy 
& at adult age renew their baptismal covenant, together 
with those who are baptized at adult age on a credible pro- 
fession of faith & repentance, are immediately added as 
members to y e visible Church of X, & it is their duty to 
continue stedfast in y e Xan doct r & fellowship & in 
break of bread, without y e necessity of any 2 d profesion. 

25. That the ministers of J have no scriptural right to 
exercise lordship or dominion over each other or over 
their fellow Xns, but that they are all brethren, & one 
is their Master, even Christ. 

26. That X has instituted a holy discipline & gov* in 
his C hh to be exercised by y e pastors with y e consent of y e 
brethren, & y* y e N. Tes* is y e only authentic & infallible 
platform of c hh gov fc & discipline. 

27. That tho' hypocrites are now mingled with true 
believers in y e visible C hh , yet there will be a time when 
they shall be separated, & y e C hh presented by X a 
glorious C hh not hav s spot or wrinkle or any such thing. 

28. That y e hour is coming wherein all y fc are in their 
graves shall hear y e voice of y e Son of G. & shall come 
forth, — they that have done good unto y e r'x. of life, & 
they y* have done evil to y e r'x. of damn". 

29. That G. has apointed a day in w h he will judge O in 
r'g'ss. by y fc man whom he has ordained, even y e L. 3\ ? who 
in the character of mediatorial King will asign to every 
man his respective portion of hapiness or misery, & then 
will deliver up the mediatorial kgm. to y e Fath r , y* God 
may be all in all. 

30. That y e wicked shall go away into everlast* pun- 
ishm fc , but y e rgs. into L. eter. 

1768.] jasper mauduit and others. 23 

Concern^ my views & aims, &o. 

It has been my constant habitual tho't, ever since I 
was capable of judging, that I should preach y e Gosp! ; 
with this view my parents educated me, & to this my 
friends have often urged & persuaded me. But for a 
long time all these things were in vain. I knew myself 
to be destitute of y e grand fundamental qualifica of a 
true minister of y e Gosp 1 , & was determined never to 
undertake preaching untill I had obtained a hope in X. A 
glorious discov 7 of y e riches & freeness of divine grace, 
& y e infinite worthiness of the L. J. X., w h I trust was 
made to my soul by the Holy Spirit, at once changed my 
views & dispositions, & from y* time I devoted myself to 
y e service of G. in y e Gosp 1 of his Son, think g it my duty 
to glorify G. in this way. My qualific" have been judged 
of by others. My conscience acquits me of hav s any 
mercenary views ; a decent, comfortable subsistence while 
I continue in this vale of tears is all y e present reward 
that I desire. 

I know y* G. has no need of any of my services ; but if 
it shall please him to make me a humble, zealous, faithful 
instrum* of build s up y e Redemer's Kingd° & turn g siners 
from the erors of their ways, I shall esteem it y e greatest 
dignity & hap ss y* I am capable of receiving. 

Indorsed by Mr. Belknap : " Confes n of Faith exhibted Feb ry 
18, 1767." 


London, 11 April, 1768. 

Gent n ., — Yf favor of 4 Jan'y last came safe to hand, 
26 Feb., & we, being willing to pay all y e regard w h a 

* This letter is printed from a copy in the handwriting of Mr. Belknap, and is indorsed 
by him, " Lett' fr? Dissenters in London to Ministers in Massachus 1 . 8 ." The clergy of the 


letter fr° so respectable a body of gent n & y e importance 
of y e subj. req d , laid it before y e 1 st gen 1 meet? of y e 
deputies for managing y e affairs of y e Dissenters, \v h was 
held 9 th Mar., & it was y* day referr'd to us, y e Coihittee 
of Correspond 6 to take care thereof, & to endeavor to get 
all y e intellig ce relat g to y e affair we could, & transmit it to 

We are, gent n , very sensible of y e many civil & relig 8 
inconveniences y* would arise fr° y e introduc 11 of Dioces* 
Bps. into America, & therefore beg leave to assure you of 
our utmost vigil* attent n & assid 8 endeav 1 " 8 to opose & frus- 
trate any such design. At y e same time we have y e 
pleas re of inform? you y* we have made y e strictest enq y 
& are able fr° y e very best auth y to asure you y fc there is 
no such design on f: at pres*, & we hope y* y e gov* are so 
sensible of y e confus 11 such a step would occas 11 among our 
Amer cn breth n y* however warmly some of our Bps. may 
wish for it & express such their desires in their serm on 
pub. occas 118 we really believe they will never be able 
to accomp sh y m . However, gent n , as you & we are en- 
gaged in one comon cause, you may depend upon it, y i 
if any attempts are made to revive this design we shall 

Church of England, on this side of the Atlantic, had long been anxious that a Bishop or 
Bishops should be sent to America, so that candidates for the ministry should not be 
" obliged to submit to the danger and expence of a voyage of 1,000 leagues long," in order 
to obtain episcopal ordination. In a letter dated Boston, June 17, 1767, and signed by Rev. 
William Walter, D.D., at that time Rector of Trinity Church, Boston, and thirteen others, the 
writers say: " Since the first settlement of Christianity, so large a continent as this was 
never known without a resident Bishop. We flattered ourselves that such an extensive 
territory as was heretofore possessed & hath since been added to the British Dominions 
by the last war would certainly have been followed by some provision of this kind, but 
especially the late popular tumults in these Colonies we imagined would have strongly 
pointed out the necessity of such a step towards the uniting and attaching the Colonies to 
the mother country, and have silenced every objection that could be raised against it. We 
are too remote and inconsiderable to approach the Throne, yet could His Majesty hear 
the voice of so distant a people the request for American Bishops would appear to be the 
crye of many thousands of his most faithful subjects We do, however, think ourselves 
happy in this, that the Society will omit no favorable opportunity of representing the 
advantages that may accrue to these Colonies, to religion, and to the British interest by con- 
descending to this our request." (See Perry's Historical Collections relating to the 
American Colonial Church, vol. iii. p. 531.) — Eds. 

1768.] PETER THACHER. 25 

carefully watch & exert our utmost endeav 1 " 8 to prevent 
y e carrying it into execu". 

We are w very great regard, gent n > y r most obed fc hum. 


Jasper Mauduit. 

Tho* Lucas. 

J*° Boyle French. 

W 1 ? BOWDEN. 

Rich d Cooke. 
Robt. Lewis. 

To Rev d Mess™ Ghauncy^ Pemberton, Eliot, § Cooper, in Boston. 


Milton, April 20* 1768. 

Dear Sir, — I this morning received your very wel- 
come epistle, and permit me in answer thereto sincerely 
to congratulate you & your dear lady on her safe deliv- 
ery.* May the God of mercy perfect his begun good- 
ness unto her, bless & prosper the tender babe. May 
it live & be a great blessing to its parents. Very sen- 
sible I am, rev? sir, (permit me to say, from experience,) 
that the votaries of God & of virtue alone enjoy true 
happiness. Now, sir, if you please, -I will give you an 
account of the late disturbances & commotions in our 
Alma Mater. t 

But before I begin the unwelcome tale, let me tell you 
that, in all this rebellion (as it is called), I myself have 
had no part; to this I doubt not you will give entire 
credit, as my tutors, the governors of the College, & my 

* Mr. Belknap's eldest child, Sarah, was bora April 7, 1768, and was baptized threo 
days afterward by Rev. Mr. Cushing. —Eds. 

f The President of the College at this time was Rev. Edward Holyoke, then in his 
seventy-ninth year. For a brief notice of these disturbances and an account of the subse- 
quent proceedings of the Corporation, the Overseers, and the President, see Quincy's 
History of Harvard University, vol. ii. pp. 116-119, and The Harvard Book, vol. ii. p. 125. 
— Eds. 


freinds in Boston are entirely satisfied with my conduct. 
The tutors on Monday morning told the scholars that 
they had entered into an agreement to excuse no scholars 
from reciting, unless they should first ask leave of them 
therefor. This the scholars esteemed a great greivance, & 
made objections to their tutors ; yet they overruled them 
all, & punished some that were absent. Upon the scholars 
going out from their respective tutors' chambers, they 
hiss'd & clap'd, &c, & in the evening M* Danforth's win- 
dows were broke by some persons unknown. The tutors 
prosecuted the affair the next day, & in y e evening M' 
Willard's & M r Scales' windows were broke ; on Wednes- 
day in y e afternoon some persons unknown broke into M r 
Willard's chamber, destro[y]ed his glass, his teacups, &c. ; 
on Thursday in the foreno[on] the President, professors, 
& tutors met in order to discover something of a class 
meeting w h the several classes had had in order to con- 
sult upon the affair, but discovered nothing. On Friday 
they met again, and met with the same success. On Sat- 
urday evening there was a report in College that M* 
Willard had shut up one Whiting in his study without 
fire or victuals from 8 o'clock A. m. till 3 p. M., in order to 
make him confess something in relation to the breaking 
of his glass ; but here you should observe that y? Whit 8 
had been detected in fastening y e chapel door, when M' 
Willard was there with his class reciting. This story had 
a natural tendency to enrage the minds of the scholars, 
& y e same evening as 2 of the tutors were in M r Willard's 
chamber setting with him, when, behold! with a mighty 
noise came bursting thro' the window 4 brickbats. They 
immediately issued out of the chamber & caught one 
of the culprits, Putnam of Danvers, who discovered his 
confederates, Stebbins of Hadley, Hill of Saco, & Dodge 
of Salem. On Sabbath day there were several letters, 
&c, put up at M r Willard's door threatening him, 
telling him to leave the society, &c. ; in y e evening the 

1768.] PETER THACHER. 27 

President, professors, &c. met, ordered y e persons who 
had been detected breaking M r . W.'s windows into prayers 
the next morning. They sent up for Whiting, but some 
of the scholars returned answer that he should not come, 
&c. ; but at length a number of the [scjholars went down 
to the place where the President, &c. were convened, & 
told y m if y? w d admit some scholars with him he might 
come before them; the reason they alledged for w c was 
that he w d otherwise be daunted & confess w* was not 
true ; y? they refused to suffer. In y e night there were 
great disorders ; the gaurd of y e town assembling pre- 
vented any attack upon y e President or any other of y e 
governors of y e College. In y e morning the scholars went 
down to y e President's & desired him to suspend execut- 
ing any punishment upon the delinquents at present, 
as they had some proof w c they imagined w d in a great 
measure palliate, if not entirely extermate their guilt. Y s 
request the President with his usual haughtiness denied. 
The sentence was executed, & after breakfast 104 or 5 of 
the scholars went down & gave up their chambers, all y e 
3 junior classes except 40. On Sabbath day evening I be- 
took myself to Boston, as I foresaw if I stayed at Cam- 
bridge I should be compelled to resign my chamber, which 
I was very unwilling to do, as I was sensible it would be 
attended with very bad consequences. I forgot before to 
tell you that the Senior Class had no hand in this affair, 
as they were not obliged to conform to the regulation. 
Thus much journalwise, as for writing a terrce filius I 
have no inclination for it at present. I don't know what 
I may do when I return to college. At present I am en- 
gaged in keeping school at Milton for the schoolmaster, 
who has been absent y s 2 or 3 days. So, Sir, I am at least 
a, pro tempore successor to yourself in y* agreable employ- 
ment. As for the health of my grandfather, &c, he is 
very well, & has been so all winter, but my grandmother 
has been poorly almost all winter, but has now grown 


much better & seems to be upon the recovery very fast. 
The scholars had such very probable circumstances relat- 
ing to y e charge ag 8t M r Willard, y t it will very much tend 
to lessen their fault (if their conduct be faulty). I should 
be glad if you would communicate y fi account I have 
given you to M r Merriam & my sister, as I cannot with- 
out much time write them another journal. Be pleased to 
present my sincere love & respect to your amiable & be- 
loved consort, my compliments, &c., to Miss Sally. You 
ask me when I shall come to Dover? Indeed I can't tell, 
but I intend to try hard to get there next summer va- 
cancy. What more shall I say ? Indeed I can't tell you j 
for sh d I say I continue the same love (& permit me to 
say reverence) for you w h I always had, you would accuse 
me of impertinence in telling you the same thing so 
many times over. However, I will subscribe myself, 
Y r sincere & affectionate freind, 

Peter Thacher. 

April 25 th , 1768. You will excuse the dirtiness of my 
paper, for I carried it in my pocket from the time I began 
it till now, to school & back again, to get opportunity to 
write it. 

Y r . s ut supra, 

P. Thacher. 

The Reverend M? Belknap. 

To the Rev d Jeremy Belknap, in Dover. 

Cambridge, Feb? 25 th , 1769. 

Rev. & dear Sir, — The length of the time since you 
wrote to me has almost led me to think you have forgot 

* In the Belknap Papers is an incomplete short-hand draft of tlie answer to this letter. 
The portion which has been preserved was deciphered, and is printed in the Life of Dr. 
Belknap by his granddaughter, pp. 37-42. — Ens. 

1769.] PETER THACHER. 29 

me, & if that is the case I know not whether it will be a 
pleasure to you to receive a letter from me at this time ; 
but as it always gave me the greatest pleasure to reflect 
upon the instances of regard you had shown me, & as I 
was loth to think you had entirely forgotten me, I de- 
termined to take up my pen & write to you as to a freind 
& father. 

I have thro' the goodness of God enjoyed a pretty 
good measure of health since you last heard from me, 
and have been engaged the summer & winter (hitherto) 
past cheifly in the mathematicks & divinity, for I have 
determined to preach. I would beg, d r Sir, your advice 
& assisstance herein to direct me what books are most 
proper for me to read. I have hitherto been directed in 
my divinity studies by M r Wigglesworth, our Divinity 

I contemplate the ministerial office with a mixture of 
diffidence & pleasure ; diffidence, as I esteem it a work of 
the greatest importance ; pleasure, as it is & must be the 
greatest satisfaction to a mind sensible of the importance 
of y e soul's concerns (as I would hope thro' y e goodness of 
God I am in some measure at least) to guide & direct 
men to heaven, to rouse y e sleepy & secure sinner, to 
build up & edify the true saint. In this work, my 
friend, you are engaged ; in this work I pray God to 
give you success. 

The Sabbath day before last, I was, tho' most unworthy, 
admitted into M r Bobbins' church at Milton, & took upon 
me the obligations of God's solemn covenant. I would 
earnestly beg, d r Sir, your prayers for me, that I may be 
enabled to adorn the doctrine of God, my Saviour, in all 
things, that I may walk worthy the vocation wherewith I 
trust I am called, that I may be fitted & prepared by the 
service of God here for the full, free, & entire enjoyment 
of him in the heavenly world. 

You know not, my freind, how different things of this 


nature appear to me now from what they once did. I 
trust I have reason to think that the change which has 
been wrought in me is of a saving nature. Ascribe glory 
to your God & to my God, thro' Jesus Christ, for this his 
free, unmerited goodness to one of the most sinful of his 

I am in hopes I shall be able to stay at college after I 
have taken my degree (should I live), & follow my studies 
here ; should I make out, it will be a great advantage 
to me. 

I remember your amiable wife with great pleasure, 
with a sincere regard ; you will be so good as to present 
my sincere love to her, & ask her, if her nursery will 
spare her long enough, by a line to let me know she 
remembers Peter. 

I would beg of you, Sir, when you can spare time, to 
write to me. You know not how much pleasure it 
would give me. As my parents are dead, your advice & 
assisstance of me are more necessary. I yesterday saw 
my grandfather & grandmother. He is in good health & 
spirits, but she is very infirm, as she has not (nor I fear 
never will) recovered a stroke of y e palsy she had y e last 

I would beg your prayers for me & assisstance to me 
by your advice & councel, & to believe me to be, rev. & 
d r Sir, 

Your most affect 6 freind & hum. ser., 

Peter Teacher. 

Rev. Jeremy Belknap. 


Cambridge, May 19 ,h , 1769. 

Rev. & dear Sir, — You know not how much pleasure 
the reception of your letter gave me. It was, indeed, a 
cordial to my heart. I knew not but that you had for- 

1769.] PETER THACHER. 31 

gotten me ; for I do not remember to have received a 
letter from you for near (or quite) a twelvemonth. For 
so good, so long a letter as your last, I am very much 
obliged to you. 

You say, d r Sir, it gives you pleasure to hear of my 
I entering into y e kingdom of Christ, & of my determina- 
tion to devote myself to y e Gospel ministry." Indeed, it 
gives me also the sincerest pleasure. I hope I have been 
enabled to devote myself & all my interests, abilities, & 
opportunities to y e service & glory of my Creator & Re- 
deemer. You know, Sir, I always entertained a design to 
preach. This has been my determination for a number of 
years ; but, Sir, I knew not for what. I knew not what 
were my inducements, nor w r hat my motives. I am ready 
sometimes to think that even now my motives are not 
right. That text, Jer. 14. 14, should make every one 
fearful how he engages in this great work. I am afraid 
of running before I am sent ; but, Sir, I know of no busi- 
ness nor profession of life in which I shall be so likely to 
promote the glory of God & the good of my fellow-men 
as this. I hope & trust I am ready & willing to devote 
all my time & talents to promote & advance these ends. 
These were the ends for wmich I was sent into y e O, & I 
cannot but esteem it my duty to engage in this work, as 
I find a very strong inclination for it, & I hope a trust 
on the sufficiency & grace of X to help & assist me in it. 
This, Sir, is my case, & now I w r ould beg your candid & 
impartial opinion whether I ought to engage herein or 
no; bat I can't think of doing anything else, if I can 
engage herein justly & with a good conscience. 

I take extremly kindly your cautions & warnings. I 
doubt not but that they were dictated by a sincere regard 
to me. I cannot but esteem it a great token of your 
freindship. Indeed, I have need of such cautions. When 
I first entered on y e Xtian warfare I was taught by bitter 
experience to place no confidence in my own strength. 


I was made to feel that of myself I could do nothing; 
that I must have grace from above to assist me in all 
my conflicts with the great adversary of souls, & w 7 ith 
my own lusts & corruptions. I hope & trust I have 
been enabled to look to X for help & assistance herein. 
I am at some times less sensible of this than at others, 
but I am made soon, I hope, to recover myself, & am 
brought into a better frame. 

When I was first made sensible of my need of a Saviour, 
& that there was salvation for me in Jesus Christ, when I 
was first enabled sincerely to desire to obey his commands, 
& that I might derive grace & assistance from him, every 
difficulty, all opposition, seemed to sink before me. I 
thought nothing could discourage me, that everything 
would go on smooth & easy (not but y fc I was sensible 
there was difficultys &. dangers in my way). I was in too 
great a measure insensible of the corruption that was with- 
in me, & of y e great deceitfulness of my own heart; but 
I now discover so much of both these that I am some- 
times ready to suspect all & to think I am a very hypo- 
crite. Oh, Sir, you know not how much of these there is 
within me. I am very apt to determine upon doing a 
thing before I examine into my motives for it, & so judge 
of my motives by the action, & not of y e action by y e 
motives; but I hope & trust the prevailing bent of my 
mind & will is for God, that I fear above all things to 
offend him, that I esteem it my highest pleasure to do his 
will, that I depend upon y e merits of X alone for pardon 
& acceptance with God, that I rely upon his grace to 
assist & help me in every time of need, & that all my 
own righteousnesses are but as filthy rags. I beg your 
prayers that I may be strong in the grace w c is in Christ 
Jesus, & that my path may be that of y e just, w c as y e 
rising light shineth more & more unto the perfect day. 

I find your observation with regard to ministers' advice 
to be very just; for I have asked several, & I don't know 

1769] PETER THACHER. 33 

of any 2 of y m w° point out to me the same plan ; one 
advises to one thing, another to another. If I should 
follow every one's advice I should very soon get lost. 
Your advice with regard to studying the Scriptures is 
very good. I determine to follow it. Indeed, I would 
make them my principal study. I would " meditate in y e 
law of y e Lord both day & night"; but I should be glad 
if you would point out to me some method in w c it is 
best to study them. This is my present course : I read 
early in y e morning 2 or more chapters merely with a 
practical view to know what the mind of the Lord is, & 
what he would have me to do. After breakfast I read 
one or more chapters in y e Greek Testament, & immedi- 
ately after 3 sections in Doddridge's Family Expositor. 
In y e course of the day I read authors upon divinity 
cheifly, besides attending college exercises & other neces- 
sary avocations. Just before I go to bed I commonly 
read 2 chapters in y e Old Testament. This is my com- 
mon course. I have read Abernethy on y e Being & Per- 
fections of a God, Leland's Advantages & Necessity of 
Revelation, Jenkins's Reasonableness of Xianity, Camp- 
bell's Evidence, Edwards on y e Will, Original Sin, & his 
treatise on Religious Affections, Dickinson's Five Points, & 
Niles on Original Sin. I have been reading lately Chan- 
dler's Reply to Morgan, Cripplegate Morning Exercises, 
with a variety of other books, among w c has been Dod- 
dridge's Life. I do not here enumerate books of a 
practical kind, such as Dodridge's Rise & Progress, ser- 
mons, &c. I purpose immediately to go thro' Doddridge's 
Lectures, w c has not only your recommendation, but that 
of D r Cooper, D r Eliot, &c. 

I cannot help at vacant times employing myself in 
writing. This I find a most agreable task. Indeed, I 
cannot but take y e highest pleasure in it ; for I have been 
from my youth up a sermonizer. 

There is no part of your advice so difficult for me to 



follow as that of avoiding prejudice in favour of any 
scheme of divinity; for 1 cannot help looking upon y e 
Calvinistic (as it is called) to be y e most agreable to 
Scripture & to reason. I think it has y e greatest tendency 
to exalt God, & to depress & humble y e pride of man. 
This being the case, I have read no books scarcely upon 
y e other side of y e question. I have been too apt to take 
up first my principles & then look out for proofs of them. 
This may be owing in a great measure to y e force of 
education. I would now ask you, what shall I do ? I 
hope & trust I desire to know what y e truth is, for I w d 
neither beleive myself nor teach others to beleive false- 
hood or error. The greatest part of these principles I 
am able (I beleive) to demonstrate from Scripture ; but I 
doubt I embraced y m at first, not because I looked upon 
y m after examination to be y e truth, but because I had 
always been taught to esteem them so These are at 
present my principles, but I hope & trust if I thought y m 
inconsistent with Scripture I should be ready most will- 
ingly to give them up. I would beg your advice in this, 
& y e other regards as soon as possible. I have long en- 
deavoured agreable to y r advice to make divinity as well 
as other scien[c]es subservient to the spiritual benefit & 
advantage of my own soul. Divinity is truly a science 
in w c we have y e greatest opportunity of advancing in 
grace, holiness, & y e knowledge of Christ. 'Tis a great 
talent committed to our trust ; let us be careful of im- 
proving it to y e honor & glory of our gracious Master. 
I doubt not but that there are many ministers of y e class 
you mention, w° understand divinity as a speculative 
science, but know nothing of y e power of godliness, many 
to w m that passage of S fc Paul may be applied, " They are 
as a sounding brass & a tinkling cymbal." Indeed I 
cannot but esteem an unconverted minister to be a per- 
fect solecism. A guide to heaven walking in y e road to 
hell is surely a contradiction in terms. A sincere love to 

1769.] PETER THACHER. 35 

God & a desire to promote y e spiritual & eternal welfare 
of souls ought to actuate every minister of y e Gospel. 
Of neither of these can an unconverted man be possessed ; 
neither would I engage in y e work of y e ministry, did I 
think myself in such a condition, for ten thousand worlds. 

The observations you make in y e beginning of your 
letter with, regard to humility are undoubtedly just. 
Humility is essential to Christianity, at least to y e power 
of it in a soul. Pride is y e bane of young ministers. 
Spiritual pride is y e bane of every Christian. Your 
cautions to me are peculiarly seasonable, therefore. I 
am obliged to you for y m . Pray that I may deal justly, 
love mercy, & walk humbly with my God. 

I beleive I shall take Eoxbury School. There are 
some peculiar advantages of situation, &c, w c induce to 
desire it. I have a prospect of getting it. 

Our President is extremely low, & I quaere whether 
he will be in y e land of y e living when this reaches you.* 
Help, Lord, for y e godly man ceaseth, the faithful fail 
from among thy people. JLi69*7:ll. 

My grandfather lately met with a fall from his horse, 
w c disabled him for a good while, & renders him at pres- 
ent very infirm. My grandmother still continues in y e 
land of y e living, tho' her mental powers, as well as bodily 
faculties, are much decayed. I should not be surprised 
were I to hear of y e death of her or my grandfather.-)* 

M r Leonard has moved to Milton with his family. 
Bathsha has an humble servant, a classmate of yours, I 
beleive ; his name is Dummer Rogers, a lawyer. J 

I take notice of your caution not to preach too soon. 

* President Holyoke died June 1. 1769 —Eds. 

f Oxenbridge Thacher, grandfather of the writer of this letter, was born May 17, 1681, 
and died Oct. 29, 1772, outliving his more famous son of the same name upward of seven 
years. (See History of Milton, Mass., pp. 245, 510.) —Eds. 

J Jeremiah Dummer Rogers was born in Littleton, Mass., April 5, 1743, and graduated 
at Harvard College in 1762. He marripd Bathsheba. a daughter of the second Oxenbridge 
Thacher. and sister of Rev. Peter Thacher, but espoused the cause of the mother country. 
After the evacuation of Boston he went to Halifax, N. S., where he died in the early part 
of 1784. (See Sabine's American Loyalists, vol. ii. pp. 232, 233.) —Eds 


I hope I shan't; w n ever I shall be qualified to do good, 
it will be my duty to begin, will it not ? I am too impa- 
tient naturally ; I am too much in a hurry in most 
affairs, but I determine to act by advice in y s affair. 
When it is my duty to begin, I hope I shall; before, I 
desire not to. 

Tis probable we shall have a private Commencement. 
The President some time since gave me y e Salutatory 
Oration. This is a troublesome peice of business. I 
should be glad to get rid of it. 

It gives me great pleasure to hear that you intend us a 
visit. Forget not your Alma Mater. By y e way, why 
can't you come & spend Sabbath with us ? 'Twould give 
me great pleasure to hear you in M r Appleton's pulpit, 
but by no means go away without seeing me. I have 
not had a sight of you since you came to Boston to M rs 
Eliot's funeral. 

Never forget me, d r Sir ; when you are at y e throne of 
grace, let me be particularly remembered by you. Y e 
variety of temptations to which I am exposed, my present 
critical situation, & y e need I stand in of divine aid & 
assistance ought all to have their weight with you & give 
force to this request. Jam. 5. 16. 

I shall read y e books you recommend as soon as I have 
opportunity. I remember your Kuthy with the sincerest 

Finally, d r Sir, may God Almighty bless you & yours ; 
may you have all y e grace & assistance you need in 
your important & arduous office ; may you be y e means 
of convincing & converting many a soul ; may you be a 
burning & shining light in y e candlestick of y e Lord, & 
say with holy Paul, when you come to dye, I have 
finished my course, I have kept the faith ; henceforth is 
laid up for me a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 

This is y e sincere prayer of, d r Sir, your truly affec- 
tionate freind, 

Peter Teacher. 

1770.] JOHN STAFFORD. 37 

I have neither time nor inclination to write this over 
again. You will excuse with your wonted candor all 
inaccuracies, for I abound in y m . Vale, domine reverende, & 
valeant tai. 

Upon a revisal of y e within letter, there are some 
expressions w c savour too much of boasting. Beleive me, 
my dear freind, I aimed not at it. I have endeavoured 
to lay open to you my whole soul. Favour me with 
your advice continually. I write to you as to a freind. 
What I impart to you I esteem to be yet a secret. 
Excuse all my fredom, & beleive me to be, 

Yours sincerely, 

P. Thacher. 

P. S. 3. I much question whether I shall visit y e east- 
ward this summer ; for I must enter immediately after 
Commencement on my school, if I take it; & I see at 
present no prospect of my going before. 


London, April 10 th , 1770. 

Kev d . & dear Sir, — I suppose long before this time 
you have given over all expectation of hearing from me 
in answer to your very respectful letter, which by some 
means did not come to hand till near 13 months after the 
date thereof. Ever since I have been enquiring after a 
more expeditious method of communication, which I 
hope I have now heard of, in the son of one of my hon- 
our'd tutors, who is just ready to cross the Atlantic Ocean, 
bound, I think, for New York. But as such opportunities 
don't happen so frequently as to keep up any tolerable 

* Rev. John Stafford was minister of the Independent Church in New Broad Street, 
London. He was born in Leicester, England, in 1728, studied under Dr. Doddridge, and 
died in 1799. —Eds. 


correspondence, I should be glad to make use of the 
paquet, as it will be the most certain. 

As to the point in question, I imagine we are equally 
interested. Many who seem to be reall X tians are with 
great difficulty brought to give up themselves unto full 
communion. If you ask why do they call Christ Lord, if 
they regard only one of his words ? they will answer, 
"If our evidences were clear & unclouded, all our diffi- 
culties are removed. But to vary the metaphor, who 
shall roll away this stone from us ? Here lies the mighty 
doubt." We attempt to describe the nature of regenera- 
tion, conversion, &c. We describe faith itself, not like 
our old divines, who generally define it to contain a 
strong persuasion, sweet appropriations, &c, which I 
rather look upon as its effects than its nature, and into 
which definitions I suppose they were led by their daily 
opposition to the Church of Rome, as also by their taking 
the Scripture definitions of sanctifying faith for justifying, 
&c. We attempt to describe the acts of faith in the very 
language of the closet, which I generally find most intel- 
ligable to serious minds ; and yet I believe there are many 
in my congragation who love Christ are by temptations, 
&c, kept from the Lord's table. 

In order to remedy this, there are some of the Inde- 
pendent churches, & all the Presbyterians, throw open 
the doors, insist upon nothing as absolutely necessary to 
communion but a belief that X fc is the Messiah, and a 
moral conversation ; but even this I have often seen is far 
from answering the end propos'd. Some walk unworthy, 
and serious minds dare not sit down with them. Thus 
the kingly office of Christ is made void. 

As to the other sacrament, some will not baptize any 
children but those of church members, i e. such as are 
in full comm" ; others baptize all infants without excep- 
tion. The usuall way is to baptize the infants of such as 
by their regular attendance upon the preaching of the 

1770.] JOHN STAFFORD. 39 

word seem to be well disposed tow'rds Christ and his 
Gospel, especially if there is nothing contrary thereto in 
their life and conversation, such as drunkenness, Sabbath 
breaking, &c. 

We are generally of opinion that baptism is not a 
church ordinance, & therefore ought not to be confind 
either to communicants or their infant seed. Such a pro- 
fession of faith in Christ as would satisfy my mind as to 
one ordinance will not satisfy as to the other. 

But if men still think they are Christians, and yet live 
in the neglect of the Lord's supper, we enquire into their 
reasons ; if mere scruples, we attempt to remove them ; 
if we have no possitive evidence of their special relation 
to Christ, we point out the danger of their state ; & if 
because of these things they withdraw from us, & go 
either to the Presbyterians or to the Church of England, 
we comfort ourselves that whatever we lose for Christ in 
this world we shall gain in the other. 

You add, " By this means our churches are become 
very corrupt, the distinction between the Church & the 
world is lost, little regard paid to X ts institutions because 
they think there's no obligation to attend it," &c. 

I answer, we never look upon any persons as church 
members till they make a public profession of Christ & 
their dependence upon him ; till then they are never 
suffered to vote with the church in the choice of a min- 
ister, &c. We call them hearers, subscribers, &c, but 
they are never consulted, except among the Presbyterians, 
or in a hall congregation in the country where discipline 
is almost lost. We reckon them still in the world, & 
endeavour to teach them to think so. And altho' by this 
means we may be thought to have but few church mem- 
bers, perhaps but 200 or less even in London, we find 
the Gospel could not be kept in any place long without 
this precaution of excluding the votes of mere sub- 


If I don't mistake, D r Jon 11 . Edwards & many other 
very considerable divines tho't that the Lord's supper is 
a converting ordinance, and if this notion was to prevail 
in England, the Gospel could not (humanly speaking) 
remain with us half a century. Nothing w d . destroy it so 
soon. If carnal men were once allowed to chuse minis- 
ters, they would never chuse faithful Gospel ones, but 
would chuse prophets after their own heart. 

The congregational method which we practice is tho't 
by some serious people to be too strict, and some are 
frequently going off to the latitude men ; but so long as 
we see the Gospel daily lose ground amongst them, we 
see little reason to follow their example. 

If a person chuses to join us, he is proposed a month 
before he is to be admitted, two persons are deputed by 
the church to converse w th him as to his knowledge & 
experience ; they generally persuade him to write down 
a few things essential to the divine life, conviction of sin, 
application to the Saviour, assuring him that this is con- 
tributing to the experience of the church, and often 
useful to others. It appears desirable that he would 
point out the means of such improvement, convictions, 
impressions, whether by the word read, preach'd, &c, or 
whether by any remarkable dispensations of Providence; 
these things being read or spoken to the church on the 
Thursday before the Lds. supper, w ch is generally every 
first Sabbath in the month, he is told the duties of a 
church member, as also the privileges, &c. 

You will find an excellent account of our discipline in 
M* Maurice's Social Religion, 8™. 

I am very thankful for the pamphlets, &c. ; in return I 
beg your acceptance of my Confession, D r Owen's Evi- 
dences, & a ser. preached at my place, which I trust you 
will read with pleasure. As also a masterly Defence of 
the Doctrine of Predestination, which I recommend as a 
supplement to Cooper's of Boston. 

1770.] JOHN STAFFORD. 41 

I sincerely beg the favor of a frequent correspond- 
ence in which you will be pleased to give me an ace* of 
the state of religion in the New World, especially where 
there are any revivals of it in your own or in the congre- 
gations of neighbouring ministers. I bless God I have 
seen more of it in our little society this year than for 
many years ; 18 added to communion seems a great 
number in these days. May the Lord grant us both 
much of his presence & blessing. Let me & mine share 
in y r addresses at the throne, where I hope y fc we shall 
often meet even here, & spend an happy eternity in the 
enjoyment of God & the Lamb. Amen & amen. 

Direct to me at N° 10, Bunhill Row, London. 

As to the Sandimanians, I can only say they are not 
upon the incrase with us. I rejoice they have done no 
more mischief with you. M r Pike is cut off for the sin of 
covetousness, i. e. reserving 200£ as a marriage portion 
for his youngest daughter. 

As for politics you know as much by the paper. as I do. 
I fear the present Ministry will not revoke or repeal all 
the Revenue Acts. One remains to show the claim of 
authority, but it seems to most people to be an argument 
of weakness. The Ministry are not huble enough to say, 
We were mistaken. 

M r Dennis De Bert, my near neighbour, died last 
Tuesday morning. But I don't imagine the agency of 
the Colonies w ch was in his hands can come into worse, 
as he was a man of no influence, being poor, & I suppose 
will prove insolvent. 

If the Colonies had greater men agents, they would 
have been treated in a very different manner. 

I can only add, I am sometimes reprov'd by those 
words, My kingdom is not of this world. 

I rest your affectionate friend and brother in Christ, 

John Stafford. 


To the Rev d M r Jeremy Belknap, in Dover. 

Boston, Dec. 16, 1772. 

Dear Sir, — I am obliged to you for your letters of 
Nov. 19 & Nov. 30. According to your request, I look'd 
over those parts of M r Hubbard's History which my son 
had transcribed. They were sent in hast, without my 
knowlege, or I had written to you by the bearer of them. 
My son hath transcribed a great part of M r Hubbard, & 
desires you would preserve those extracts he hath sent 
you that they may be added to the rest. 

I thank you for the copy of the vote of New Hamp- 
shire Assembly, but there is another vote which you 
have not sent. The money was first voted to the appa- 
ratus, but was afterwards transfered to the library & was 
laid out in books. It is of no great consequence, but if 
it shall at any time be in your way to procure the last 
vote I should be glad to. have it. 

I am glad to hear your dear consort is recovered of her 
indisposition. Remember my most affectionate regards 
to her. Your aunt sends her kindest wishes to you both. 

Your welfare will always give the greatest pleasure to, 
My dear Sir, your obliged friend & brother, 

Andrew Eliot. 


I, Jeremy Belknap, minister of the Gospel, in Dover, 
in his Majesty's Province of New Hampshire, testify & 

* Rev. Andrew Eliot, D.D., (born Dec. 25, 1718, graduated at Harvard College in 1737, 
settled over the New North Church, Roston, in 1742. died Sept. 13, 1778,) was the uncle 
of Mrs. Belknap. The second paragraph of this letter refers to a donation from the 
Province of New Hampshire to Harvard College, after the fire in 1764. (See Quincy's 
History of Harvard University, vol. ii. p. 401.) — Eds. 

t Governor John Wentworth was born in 1737, and graduated at Harvard College in 
1755. In August, 1766. on the resignation of his uncle, Benning Wentworth, he was 

1773.] DEPOSITION. 43 

declare, — That I have lived in this Province about eight 
years, and that since John Wentworth, Esq., was ap- 
pointed to the chief seat of government therein, so far 
as I have had opportunity to hear & observe, he hath 
merited the esteem of the people in general among whom 
I have lived & conversed, & hath in divers instances 
shewn a jast regard to the true interest of the Province, 
in connexion with his Majesty's service ; particularly in 
encouraging learning and agriculture, by reason of which 
the Province is much advanced in value & reputation. 
And I do not know that the people suffer any injuries or 
grievances of which the s d Governor ought to bear the 
blame. And so far as I am capable of judging, I believe 
that, if a general suffrage were called for, it would be in 
favour of his continuance in office. 

And further, I declare that, so far as I am able or have 
had opportunity to observe, the people in this Province 
are, & on all proper occasions have proved themselves to 
be, equally loyal to their King and jealous of encroach- 
ments on their rights and priviledges. 

And lastly I declare, that I am not dependent on the 
said Governor Wentworth for any honors or favors what- 
soever, and that I subscribe this testimony only from a 
regard to truth & justice. 

Jeremy Belknap. 

Dover, January 1, 1773. 

Sworn before John Sullivan, Esq., Jan y . 4, 1773. 

Indorsed by Mr. Belknap : " Copy of my Deposition in favor of y e 
Governor. Jan., 1773." 

appointed Governor of New Hampshire, which office he held until the suppression of the 
royal authority there. He then went to Boston, and on the evacuation of that town he 
went to Halifax, N. S., and some time afterward to England. In 1783 he was commis- 
sioned as Surveyor General of the King's Woods in North America, and returned to 
Halifax. In May, 1792, he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia; and in 
1795 he was created a Baronet. In 1808 he resigned the governorship on account of the 
infirmities of age. He died in Halifax, April 8, 1820. The relations between him and Mr. 
Belknap were always of the most friendly character; and he furnished important materials 
for the History of New Hampshire. (See Wentworth Genealogy, vol. i. pp. 536-550). — Eds. 



Portsmouth, August 31st, 1773. 

My dear Sir, — Mr. Rindge gave ine your kind letter 
of the 27 th ins* this morning. It wou'd have highly 
pleas'd me to have met good M r Belknap & Col B. at the 
College,! where the former wou'd have found ample enter- 
tainment & gladness to his accomplished and benevolent 
mind in the meritorious exhibitions of the graduates at 
D. Coll., which fully evinc'd the care that had been taken 
in their education and the future benefit that may ration- 
ally be expected in future to flow from that promising 
institution, both to literature and Xtianity thro' this & 
the adjacent Provinces, as well as to the natives of the 
land, whose ancestors have been providentially remov'd 
to leave it a comfortable & safe residence to us. And the 
latter have furnish'd himself with an abundant store of 
admiration & pleas'd communications to his well wishing 
circle. Time will not now permit me to mention the 
particulars, but I must say, in general, the improvements 
are in ev'ry branch beyond the best hopes of its very 
best friends. 

At Exeter & Deny the news you suggest broke in 
upon me well prepar'd, for I had (the day I set out) 
rece'd. it from my friends by Lyde, in dispatches of the lat- 
est hour by that ship.J At the same time they assure me 

* Thomas Westbrook Waldron was the great-grandson of Major Richard Waldron, one 
of the most prominent figures in the early history of New Hampshire. He filled many 
important offices, and died in Dover, April 3, 1785, in the sixty-fourth year of his age. 
According to the New Hampshire Gazette of April 15, 1785, " He was the first volunteer 
in New Hampshire who enlisted in the memorable expedition to Cape Breton, in 1745, 
where he bore a Captain's commission. For near twenty years he represented the town of 
Dover in the General Court, and in 1771 was appointed a member of the Council, in which 
office he continued till the Revolution. Though a firm friend to the independence of 
America (which he predicted long before it happened), his growing infirmities obliged him 
to decline the re-election with which his country then honoured him, and content himself 
with serving the county of Strafford as Recorder and Treasurer, which he did from the time 
of its erection in 1773 to his death." — Eds. 

t Dartmouth College. — Eds. 

J The reference here is to the charges against Governor Wentworth exhibited to the 

1773.] JOHN WENT WORTH. 45 

my safety arises from the highest hand, who had been 
previously mov'd in my favor, & then memorialed upon 
the merits of Gov r W's administr a which was declared to 
be legal & necessary by those able to prove it so, and have 
full justice in their assertion. These (kindly) guarded me 
against any apprehensions from the Report, w h might 
have been soften'd to nothing, but was refus'd untill 
sanctify 'd with the highest hand we know on earth. This 
I hope the next ship will give, to suppress the folly of 
an unprincipled opposition, and to yeild comfort to those 
I love, who I am delighted to find more attach'd to me 
under their expectations of my being prevail'd over than 
ever before ; I well knew a few days must absolutely 
determine the whole, and therefore tho't it best to be so 
reserved upon the last advices as might leave such room 
for triumph daring my absence as shou'd call forth secret 
enemies. It succeeded. Many have most unexpectedly 
declared both for & against me. The torrent of obloquy 
overflow'd, even to abuse of my servants and oblique 
insults to M rs W., who with that resolution becoming her 
rank and name was affected toward them with pity & con- 
tempt. My new made friend, as you well foresaw, stood 
foremost, & instead of one offerd ten thousand, together 
with heart & hand, immediately broke with all the party, 
declaring his fast friendship from principle of, I believe 
present feelings w h were renewVl by 3 visits (to me 
yesterday) of strong professions & some information. 

The names you mention'd have often been in contem- 
plation for the benches, and I am in hopes soon to begin 
with them in this county. The D r named in my last to 
you takes part against me, & L. is now the declared friend 
of L- s. He strenuously endeavor'd to get the pam- 
phlet reprinted here, but was refus'd & is now at Boston, 

Board of Trade in Fngland by Peter Livius. one of the Council of New Hampshire. Dr. 
Belknap gives a fuil account of the matter in the History of New Hampshire, vol. ii. 
pp. 355-366. — Eds. 


probably on that business, in which I wish he may succeed, 
as 1 am convinc'd it is spurious, tho' under signature of 
those L'ds who were against me; for it disagrees materially 
with my undoubted manuscript communicated by Royal 
order. This will of course offend highly, & prove useful 
to me. The voyage to England, I beleive, will be un- 
necessary on this affair, but must follow some time after 
its decision, to do away the infamous impressions lodged 
against me most falsely. The next pacquet must deter- 
mine the whole matter, if she leaves England after the 
20 th July ; from authority too respect a to admit a doubt 
of their being deceiv'd, or a possibility that they wou'd 
suffer me to be deceiv'd, I have nothing to fear but much 
to hope. Yet the event of war is precarious, & therefore 
I wish to see an end of this affair, from whence issues 
such deluges of small spite & envious malignity, which 
like the buzz of muskitoes disturb our repose tho' they 
can't destroy our health. The variety of rumours spread 
upon this late pamphlet's arrival have now pretty tho'ro'ly 
militated each other into silence. In a few days they '1 
be still more ridiculous. That the same may soon arrive, 
I rejoice is equally yours with many others whom I love, 
as it is my wish, & therein renders a state of suspence 
cordially consoled, and even pleasing to, my dear Sir, 
Your truely affec* and very faithful friend, 

J. Went worth. 

P. S. I am at a loss how the report of my removal to 
Mass 8 has prevail'd, but beleive such an event not improb- 
able, if my enemies are defeated in their present attempt ; 
for they foresee the improbability of any man's remaining 
long there, unless a change in European measures, w h 
mayn't be expected. This I fear will be the next ma- 
noeuvre to render my stability less sure. God forbid ; for 
tho' I don't dislike Mass*, in truth I have an affection for 
N. II. & flatter mvself that I can & desire to do them 

1774.] JOHN WENTWORTH. 47 

more good than any other man who may rationally be 
expected to succeed me. 

Yours, J. W. 

Hon hle T. W. Waldron, Esq. 


To the Reverend Jeremy Belknap, at Dover. 

Portsmouth, 10 th March, 1774. 

Dear Sir, — As I sincerely regret your long indisposi- 
tion it affords me real pleasure to hear of your returning 
health, which I earnestly wish may be long & happily 

I have obtain'd from the proprietary office and here- 
with inclose you an authentic copy of Cap fc Mason's will, 
which you'l be so good to return me, as it is very mate- 
rial to their archive. The chronological enumeration, or 
rather memorandum of facts, may probably be useful. 
I expect soon to procure some further information rela- 
tive to this title, which shall be immediately transmitted 
to you. 

Gov r Hutchinson has lent Gorges' History & cannot 
remember to whom. I have wrote repeatedly, & particu- 
larly last week, to my friend, D r Caner, # who promises me 
his best efforts to find & send it to me, together with 
Ogilvie or Ogilby's History, in w h are many curious & 
tolerably authenticated anecdotes. t 

In conversation with an old man, I find " The small 
pox spread in Portsm & Greenland anno 1692; many 
died for want of attendance ; it was bro't in cotton wool 
from the West Indies." 

* Dr. Caner was at that time Rector of King's Chapel, Boston. On the evacuation of 
the town he went to Halifax, N. S., and afterward to England, where he died. — Eds. 

t The book meant is Ogilby's " America: being the latest and most accurate Description 
of the New World." It was one of the books given to the Historical Society on its organ- 
ization, and is in Mr. Tudor's list handed in at the second meeting of the Society. — Eds. 


Whatever materials may come in my way to further 
your very useful design, I shall carefully collect & trans- 
mit ; indeed, I have little other apology than my desire 
to afford ev'ry assistance for mentioning the preceding 
incident, and as it will serve to evince my good wishes 
to your work. 

I am, with real esteem & regard, my dear & rev d Sir, 
Your friend & hble. serv*, 

J. Went worth. 

Jievf Jeremy Belknap. 

Indorsed : " Rec* abt. \ hour since, under cover to your respectfll. 
T. W. W. J after 6 o'clock, p. m." 


May it please y r Exc t , — Herewith I return the copy 
of Cap* Mason's will, with my thanks to y r Exc? for y r 
kind care & attention to my requests, whereby I am 
encouraged still further to acquaint you with what is 
absolutely nec y to y e work in hand. 

As this Province was subject to y e Massachusetts about 
40 years, from 1639 to 1679 or 80, & after the Revolu- 
tion from 1689 to 1692, when M r Allen was commis- 
sioned, during w ch later period the inhabitants here put 
themselves again under their protection, I should be glad 
to have their public records searched & copies taken of 
every vote, act, or order concern 5 Piscataqua, the county 
of Norfolk, or y e towns of Portsm , Dover, Exeter, & 
Hampton, or any particular persons, matters, or things 
within y e same, with y e names of those who represented 
these towns in the Gen 1 Court, & were appointed to civil 
or military offices, &c. I should not give y r Ex cy this 
trouble if it were practicable for me to make such search 
myself; but 1 do not expect to be able to go to Boston 
till y e time when the Court usually sits, & as y e records 


are kept in y e Court House, it will be difficult getting 
access to y m at that time ; besides all y e time I shall be 
able to spare will be spent in search g y e papers of y e late 
M r Prince, of w ch there is a vast number lying in a most 
shamefully chaotic state. 

I submit to y r Exc y whether it would be proper to 
desire y r worthy friend, D r Caner, to apply to y e Rev. M r 
Usher of Bristol'* (if he be still living) for any papers or 
anecdotes w ch he may have in his memory or possession 
relative to y e administrations & characters of y e Governors 
Allen, Usher, & Partridge, or any other matters w ch may 
deserve notice. Characters of y e principal persons y fc 
have figured in the Province will be an essential part of 
y e proposed plan. 

There is an ancient book extant by one Josselyn, who 
was somehow connected w Mason, giving some acco fc of 
y e country ; if that could be procured, I believe it would 
be useful. 

I shall thankfully accept all communications from y r 
Ex y & shall be peculiarly glad to be ascertained of y e 
fact of Cap* Mason's having been personally in y e country 
after his grant was made, w ch y r Ex y mentions, because 
I find nothing s d of it in Hubbard's MS. History, or y e 
printed state of Allen's title, or Douglass's Summary, & 
it was a point often contested, whether he ever had legal 

Indorsed by Dr. Belknap: " Copy to y e Gov r , March 15, 1774." 


Portsm , August 3 d , 1774. 

Reve d S r , — In compliance with your request of the 
29 th ult°, I now inclose you what I have been able to 

* Rev. John Usher, an Episcopal clergyman at Bristol, R. I., was a grandson of 
Samuel Allen and John Usher. He was born at Bristol, Sept. 27, 1723, graduated at 
Harvard College in 1743, and died July — , 1804. — Eds. 

t Theodore Atkinson was born at New Castle, N. H., Dec. 20, 1697, and graduated at 




collect from the records, files, comonly rec d oppinions 
relative to the three gentlemen you mentioned, viz. Gov- 
ern r Allen, L fc Govern 1 * Usher, & L fc Govern 1 Partridge. 
The first was stiled Samuel Allen, of London, Esq., which 
was the place of his residence; he by deed dated the 27 
April, 1691, purchased of the descendents of John Mason. 
Esq., all their right in & to the soil, & ca , of Mason's Patent, 
so called, begin ing at Naumkeg, thence along the sea- 
coast to Cape Ann, & thence to Piscataq a River & up 
thro' Newhickwanock River to the farthest head there- 
of, &c a ; by virtue of this purchase he (I suppose) solis- 
ited & obtained in the year 1692 a commission from King 
William & Queen Mary, appointing him Govern 1 * & Com- 
ander in Chief of New Hampshire. And in the same 
coihission John Usher, Esq., was appointed L fc Govern' 
thereof, with authority in Allen's absence to execute said 
comission in chief, which Usher accordingly did the whole 
time of its being in force, and which was superseded by 
the Earl of Bellomont's comission, proclaimed here the 
31 of July, 1699. Governor Allen did not come to this 
country til some time in the year 1700, so that what 
sorte of administrtion he would (as Coiiiand r in Chief) 
have exhibited is merely conjectural. In his private life 
he was rather solitary than sociable, not remarkable for 
any great degree of learning or abilities, nor, I believe, 
of any considerable estate ; all his pursuite was fixed 
upon affairs of Mason's Patent, the whole of which he 
(for want of money, I suppose) mortgaged to his son-in- 
law, Lt. Govern Usher, for .£1500. This was in the 

Harvard College in 1718. Two years afterward he was appointed Clerk of the Court of 
Common Pleas ; and he was subsequently Collector of the Customs, Naval Officer, and 
Sheriff of the Province. " In 1734, he was admitted to a seat in the Council, and in 1741 
was appointed Secretary of the Province, which office he resigned after several years in 
favour of his son, who succeeded him. He was one of the delegates to the Congress which 
met at Albany in June, 1754. Immediately on his return he was appointed Chief Justice of 
the Superior Court of Judicature, and after the death of his son, in 1769, was reappointed 
Secretary of the Province, and continued to exercise these offices until the Revolution." 
He died Sept. 22, 1770. (See Adams's Annals of Portsmouth, pp. 269-271.) His son, of 
the same name, was the first husband of Lady Wentworth. — Eds. 


year 1701, & in the year 1706, Tho s Allen, his only son, 
conveys by two several deeds one half of the said Patent 
to S r Charles Hobby. So 'tis plain that Samuel the father 
died between 1701 & 1706, and was buryed in the fort at 
New Castle. He left one son, viz. Thomas, & four daugh- 
ters ; whether Tho s , the son, was ever in New England or 
not I cannot determine, but I rather think he was not. 
All that ever I heard of him were things transacted in 
England. He marryed in London, & there died in or 
about the year 1715, left two sons & one daughter, infants. 
The 4 daughters above mentioned were all marryed in 
this country, viz. : one marryed to L fc G. Usher, one to 
George Walton, late of Newington, Esq., one to Cap* 
Steel, & the other to M r Locklin, both of Boston. Each 
of these left children. Governour Allin died intestate. 

As to John Usher, Esq., w r hether he was a native of 
Old or New England, I am uncertain ; but he was in this 
country in his younger days & carryed on the stationers 
business at Boston, but before or about the time he rc d 
his comission for L* Gov r of this Prov. he moved to his 
farm at Mistick & made that the place of his residence. 
He was twice Lie* Govern 1 * of this Prov., the first time 
comenced & ended with Govern 1 " Allen's comission above 
mentiond ; during the whole of that time he acted as 
Comander in Chief, which was about 7 or 8 years, when 
Govern r Partridge was appointed L* Govern 1 " to the Earl 
of Bellomont. M r Usher, in 1703, was again appointed 
L* Govern 1 " in Govern 1 " Dudley's administration, which post 
he sustained till the year 1715, when Coll. Burges was 
appointed Govern 1 " & George Vaughan, Esq., L* Gov r . 
After this change Usher fixed at Mistick, where in some 
few years he died. He enjoyed a large estate while he 
lived, was generous & open ; no great politician, therefore 
not extremly well qualifyed for a chief in government. 
He was not ill natured, but affected to be austere & noisey 
in conversation, or in orders when in comand, fond of 


presiding in affairs of governing often journeing into 
this Province when it was tho* by others there was no 
necessity for his being present. When in the Province 
he was too frequently sumoning the Council when he had 
nothing material to lay before them. When the Assem- 
bly was sitting, he was frequently duning for allowances 
for services in journing, & ca , but seldom prevaild or rec d 
more than was barely necessary to defrey his travilling 
expences, if so much. He left sund y children, one son, 
now an Episcopal priest at Bristoll in Road Island.* 

I am now got to M r Partridge, the 3 d & last gentleman 
mentioned in your letter (& am glad, — you will be so 
too, if your patience holds out to read thus far). He 
was appointed L* Govern 1 " of the Province in or about the 
year 1699, the time the Earl of Bellomont was appointed 
Govern 1 " & he executed that office 'til the Earl died, & so 
on till about a year into Govern 1 " Dudley's administration, 
when he was superseded by 1/ Gov r Usher's 2 d appoint- 
ment, as above mentioned. IS Gover. Partridge, I be- 
lieve, was a native of Portsm in N. H. He had many 
relations in this town, perticularly two brothers ; one 
lived & died upon an island that he ownd that stil bears 
his name & lying between Portsm & New Castle ; the 
other lived & died in Portsm . The L 1 Govern 1 "' 8 place of 
residence til after his being superseded as L* G. was at 
Portsm , when he moved his family to Newbury, where he 
entered into mercantile affair's & building vessells of much 
larger dimentions than had ever been built there, & he 
made one voyage to London in one of them. He was not 
very rich, but had a comfortable estate. He had only the 
coition learning of this town ; he had an extraordinary 
mechanical genius, was cunning & politick in the manage- 
ment of publick affairs. He had many children; one of 
his sons lived in London, & was many years agent of this 

* See note, ante, p. 49. — Eds. 


Province at the Court of Great Britain, & one of his 
daughters was married to Jonathan Belcher, Esq., after- 
ward Govern 1 of this Province & alsoe of the Massachu- 

You will, S r , upon the perusal of the above, see I have 
wanderd from the directions you assigned me in your 
request, and introduced many things foreign to them ; viz., 
when I have introduced facts upon conjecture (viz.), as 
Allen's obtaining his coihission by claiming Mason's right; 
his death, by the different dates of his & son's deed, & ca ; 
also of Usher's being a native of New England, — this 
supposed by his younger days in business at Boston ; the 
same of Partridge's being originally of Portsm , — sug- 
gested by his relations, brothers, & ca . You'l observe I 
have said nothing of their ancestours. Of them I have 
nothing to say, not having ever heard the least mention 
made of any one of them. 

As to my journey to Canada, which I think was in the 
year 1724/5 ; on my return I reported to the Govern r in 
writing the perticulars that occurrd while at Canada, 
which probably might have been of use now, but they 
are lost ; tis possible I still have somewhere my travelling 
journal, in which I might probably minute some transac- 
tions that may be worth notice. I'll diligently search it, 
& you shall have the produce if anything in it material. 

Now, S r , when you read this incorrect piece, do it with 
candour. My age & the frequent interruptions my situ- 
ations is subject to is my apology. If any thing meets 
your approbation I have my reward, and am, S r , with 
much respect, 

Your most obedient humble serv*, 

Theodore Atkinson. 

Reverend M r Belknap, Dover. 


To The Reverend Jeremy Belknap, at Dover. 

Portsmouth, 23 rd Sep*, 1774. 

My dear Sir, — Upon recollection I judg'd it wou'd 
be more extensively useful for your design to request the 
assistance of M r Fisher, who has an intimacy with M r 
Dowse, and will have probably a more general influence 
to procure any other papers that may possibly be dis- 
covered in or by the perusal of M r Usher's. If you shou'd 
find any that are interesting to your design, or to this 
Province, which are necessary to be transcrib'd, I desire 
you wou'd employ a clerk therein, and I will with pleas- 
ure discharge the expence. My best wishes constantly 
attend you, being with real esteem & regard, dear & 
rev d Sir, 

Your unfeigned friend, 

J. Wentworth. 

Reverend Jeremy Belknap. 


On his Majesty's service. To the Honble Thomas Cushing, Esq., at 


Gent n , — Y r families are well. 

Since I wrote you, jealousies seem to rise higher between 
the people & the army. It has been rumour'd they were 
about to fortifie Dorchester Neck, which if they attempt 
I am well satisfy d the people will rise ; but at psent that 
report seems to subside. There w T as a plan of their in- 

* Thomas Cushing (born in Boston, March 24, 1725, graduated at Harvard College in 
1744, died Feb. 28, 1788) had been for many years one of the Representatives from Boston in 
the General Court, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and a prominent leader on 
the popular side. At this time he was one of the Delegates from Massachusetts in the 
Congress at Philadelphia. Samuel Swift was one of the Committee of Safety, and a prom- 
inent man at the North End. He died before the Declaration of Independence; and his 
will was admitted to probate in Suffolk County, June 24, 1776. — Eds. 

1774.] SAMUEL SWIFT. 5 

tended operations drop d , and w ch was made publick. I 
have it not by me, but the substance that occurs was to 
fortifie Fort & Bacon Hills, w th the numbers requisite on 
each place, also the numbers the barracks and places 
already taken up, &c, w d contain, &c, &c. Our artificers 
have been taken off: from their barrack building, &c, and 
straw prohibited, to the great dislike of the army. They 
cannot do w th out straw. Fluxes or contagious distempers 
possibly may be the consequence ; and consideratis conside- 
randis, w d it not be best to have the soldiers all together 
if we could, w ch w d prevent innumerable disturbances, &c, 
&c. The advice of the Congress herein would be very 
gratefully rec d , as I think one of our sister Colonies first 
put us upon the scent. Perhaps they might not think of 
all our difficulties. We are a poor, distress d , garison d 
town. The man of war in y e ferry way will not suffer 
provisions to pass the ferry, as you have undoubtedly 
heard. M r Hanock [Hancock ?] has had an interview 
with his Excell cy , and in a day or two we expect a con- 
ference with him. M r Professor Winthrop, Bowdoin, War- 
ren, &c, have been mention d ; tis hop d great good will 
come of it, as they are to speak freely, &c, which confer- 
ence I perceive is not to the disliking of the Governour. 
Doubtless great defference will be had & paid to anything 
w ch may pass in Congress, w ch may happen also to be 
touch'd upon at their intended conference, for it is a 
datum to stand religiously to every determination of y e 
Congress. You are the topick of all conversation ; and 
where a certain great personage who glories in being 

born a is pray d for once, you are 100 times. Under 

God you are our Decus et tutamen. Our eyes are upon 
you for good. May God direct, prosper, & succeed y r 
undertaking. Don't fail writing. The Comtee of Safety 
by me pay their best regards to you. 1040 bush, wheat 
& 2 bbs. flour from Qubeck is ariv d . The Rev. M r Ad- 
ams of Rox. desires to present his most grateful respects 



to you, also Frank Johonnot, Esq. Please to let me 

know p first opportunity y c time of y r return, as we 

shall wait upon you and dine w th you at Watertown 

bridge. You will not fail giving of me notice. I want 

to see you all, but first do y r work, then adjourn. We 

were greatly dismay'd when the news of the glorious 

Farmer's being made one of the Congress prov d abortive ; 

he would have done you great honour, as well as ren- 

der'd the continent great & signal service. However, y r 

omiting of him bro't that text to my mind, Wisdom is 

not always to the wise. Wait upon him often. 

Yours affectionatly, 

Sam l Swift. 
Oct r 2 d , 74. 

Hon. T. Gushing, Esq r . 

P. S. Advise also as to y e straw, w ch yy are now in 
want of. I could sincerely wish y° w d write y e sentiments 
of the Congress relative to y e barrack's being made by our 
carpenters, so should y e soldiers keep together, & ca & not 
distract y e town, or whether, as y s is to be a garrison d 
town, whether it w d not be deem d an acquiescence. 


Portsmouth, October 25 th , 1774. 

My dear Sir, — One hour and half after you very 
kindly saw me embark, I found all my family well and 
rejoic'd to see me. As to the bustle of politics, as fol- 
lows. Information came to M rs W. that insult was 
intended ag* poor Parson Peters.* She very wisely sent 

* Rev. Samuel A. Peters, D. D., born in Hebron, Ct., Dec. 12, 1735, graduated at Yale 
College in 1757, and died in New York, April 19, 1826. He made himself very obnoxious 
to the people of Connecticut by his zealous support of the Ministry in the dispute -with the 
Colonies; hut he is now best known as the author of " A General Histor^v of Connecticut," 
in which he printed for the first time the spurious "Blue Laws "of that Colony. (See 
Trumbull's " True and False Blue Laws of Connecticut.") — Eds. 

1774.] JOHN WENTWORTH. 57 

him off, conducted by Thomas Coach, to the Castle, where 
he has since remain'd quiet, and this day sails for Lon- 
don. He dined with me on Sunday. I excus'd the 
people here, told him on their second tho'ts he was safe. 
He is highly pleased with N. Hampshire, and probably 
will report kindly thereof. The story of his calamities 
is most astonishing, and in a Xtian country equally de- 
plorable. I have advised him to be moderate on his 
arrival in England, even toward those who have most 
cruelly treated him. Since my return here two ships are 
arriv'd from London ; my dispatches are perfectly to my 
wish. They fully prove the high necessity both to me 
and to this Province that the carpenters shou'd have been 
sent.* I rejoice that even the warmest in opposition will 
thank evry poor man that is gone there. Be assured, 
my friend, it is a happy circumstance to the Province ; it 
will help a reconciliation, infinitely promote it ! Small 
circumstances often produce great events, or at least lead 
to them. The K. has highly approv'd my conduct; a 

confidential power has depicted L s to him, so that 

trouble ceaseth. When these vessels sail T d, the public 
tho't all was peace in America. But those who were 
about the candle were better inform'd. The Scarboro', 
saild 5 th Sep fc from Boston, will carry alarming news. 
The premier is firm. All the merchants of London are 
said to be with him ; if so, vigorous & powerful measures 
will ensue. I beieive Lord Buckinghamshire may soon 
succeed Lord D., or else Lord G. Sackville. The former is 
ev'ry way strong in my interest. The latter I am upon 
even ground with ; but my friends are establishing me in 
his mind, lest he shou'd come in. My letters wou'd raise 
my expectations, if prudence in such a changeable world 
permitted me to let them operate. The transports are 

* Governor Wentworth had undertaken to hire carpenters to go to Boston to build bar- 
racks for the British troops, which gave great offence to the people of Portsmouth. (See 
Belknap's History of New Hampshire, vol. ii. pp. 374, 375.) — Eds. 


arriv'd from New York. No other news. Our foolish 
Comm ee , or some of them, condescended to unship 3 bar- 
rels pines and oranges, sent a present to M rs Gage from 
the W. Indies. I have them at my house, and shall be 
sent him safely. Such follys dishonor a country. They 
greive me, of course, because I love the country. 

I have bo't of M r Sproule, who purchas'd Torey's lot 
in W'boro', the stream or river which runs thro' said lot. 
Cap 1 Dudley & many others tell me it is convenient for a 
saw and grist mill, and can never want water, winter or 
summer. I shall be much oblig'd you wou'd send Cap* 
Allen to examine it with M r Wingate, and accompanied 
by any other skillful person you can recommend. If 
they approve & advise thereto, I propose to remove my 
mills on to that stream and erect a good bolting mill, also 
a mill for English corn with French burr-stones, and im- 
mediately to hire eight or ten good carpenters for the 
work, while the water is low. The new mills we can 
frame & raise so as to finish them in the spring, if time 
shou'd fail us this fall. I wish you'd calculate how much 
this matter will cost, that I may prepare the cash before 
a stroke is struck. Planks for the dams may be had at 
D r Cutter's mill. I shall wish to have them the best built 
possible to be done, — even most curiously done. I am 
certain money sav'd in such affairs, if they are slightily 
done, is a perpetual loss. 

This day I've given Peter Nepreau a lot on the Pig- 
wacket road. He is a French Protestant refugee, has 
some cash, & a very good character. I've assisted him as I 
did the Highlanders. He will be on his march to-morrow. 
I wish he cou'd speak English ; his wife can a little. 
Around my plantation will be people of all nations. 
Their arts & industry may be a good example, and lead 
to improvement of our country. 

The inclosed pamphlet M rs W. wou'd have sent yon, 
but Col A., who had it to read, had lent it to his friend 


Parson Stevens. Now it is yours. M r Finlay, the Post- 
master General, who arriv'd here from Canada thro' 
Dover last week, says the Canadians are happy in the 
Bill, & the English not displeas'd. Not an idea exists 
there of recruiting troops, altho' General Carleton was 
arriv'd. The British regiments were embarking for 
Boston. The post road will be immediately established 
thro' Wolf boro' to Canada. It will be exceedingly bene- 
ficial to our county. 

I am in haste, and quite dark, but ever, my dear Sir, 
Your really sincere friend, 

J. Wentworth. 

Hon hU Thomas W. Waldron, Esq. 


To the Rev d M r Jeremy Belknap, Pastor of the Chh. in Dover, These. 
To be left with the Rev d Doctor Haven of Portsmouth. 

Nov — , 1774. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — In answer to your favor of Octo- 
ber 17 th . When I setled att Medford in the year 1724, 
Governour Usher was living in his seat near Medford, & 
dy'd there of age and a fever about the 5 th of September, 
1726, aged about 78. He was carried to Boston to be 
buried from his house in King Street. I was several 
times to visit him before and in his last sickness. He was 
very deaf, & therefore it was difficult to converse with 
him. He was born in Boston, and was a member of 
the First Chh. of Christ in Boston, and afterwards was 
dismissd from that & recommended to the Chh. of Med- 
ford before my time. He has a son living older than I 
am, now a minister of the Chh. of England in Bristol, 
Rhoade Island, who is able to answer all your questions 
relative to his family. 

* Rev. Ebenezer Turell was born in Boston, Feb. 5, 1702, graduated at Harvard College 
in,1721, settled as minister of the church in Medford in 1724, and died there Dec. 8, 1778- 


As to his political character & transactions, the records 
of this Province & New Hampsire will shew them. He 
was (as I have heard) Treasurer here and Governur 

He first married (as I have been informed) a daughter 

of Legett, Esq r , by whom he had a daughter who 

married Jeffiers, Esq r , who has a son now living, 

John Jeffris, Esq r , in Boston, who knows everything 

about him. And one of your principal men, Jaf- 

fry, Esq r , is a great granson of his (if I mistake not) 
He afterward married a daughter of your Governour 
Allen, by whom he had sons & daughters (the minister 
before mentioned is one). And one of his daughters 
(by her) is a poor widow now living in Medford. 

This is y e best account I can give att present, & am 
Yours affectionately, 

E. Turell. 

To the Rev d Jeremy Belknap. 


Rev d M r Jeremiah Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, Nov. 8, 1774. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — I received your short epistle, & 
have returned the books I engag'd to lend you. My 
letter was wrote in a great hurry on hearing of an oppor- 
tunity to send to Dover a few days before. The short 
space allotted to me was not sufficient to write another, 

* Rev. John Eliot, D. D., (born in Boston, May 31, 1754 ; died there Feb. 14, 1813,) was 
one of the original members of the Historical Society, and a man of great learning and 
ability. (See Memoir by Rev. Dr. McKean, in 2 Collections, vol. I. pp. 211-248.) It is 
proper to add, that, of all Dr. Belknap's correspondents, Dr. Eliot was the least careful to 
guard against slips of the pen ; and one is inclined to think that he never read over a 
familiar letter after he had written it. Words and parts of words are constantly omitted, 
evidently from haste and carelessness. As a young man he had a fancy for writing his 
name " Elliott," instead of ''Eliot," as his father did, and as he himself wrote it after a 
short time. The most amusing instance of this whim is in the signature to the following 
letter (port, p. 63), where the name was first written "Eliott," and afterward changed 
to " Elliott," as there shown. — Eds. 

1774.] JOHN ELIOT. 61 

& as that contain'd a short account of my journey home- 
wards, I nattered myself it would be better than nothing. 
You will conceive the pleasantness of my ride, tho' per- 
haps wish it had been more agreeable. 

Our affairs are not so desperate as you thought they 
were in the letter to your father. That they won't be 
henceforth I pretend not to say. The total stagnation 
of commerce throughout America will be an inlet to the 
greatest scenes of distress. Things can't last always in 
this state. I wish prudent men could compromise matters 
so as to secure the honour of the Crown together with 
the liberties of the subject. The Governor sent a number 
of proposals to y e town meeting which shew a spirit of 
benevolence towards the people of town, but, whatever 
y e reasons were, our high folks were hardly satisfied with 
them. The soldiers are kept in very good order. Now 
& then a quarrel breaks out, which is to be expected in 
y e present state of things. I wish a worse scene may 
not be near. 

General Molineux is dead. Some are glad & some are 
sorry. Nil nisi bonum de morhm. It's possible he may 
have been actuated by noble principles. 

I am much oblig'd to you for endeavouring to procure 
a school for me. I think something of resigning my 
connections at college, & if there is a vacancy in your 
Province I should prefer it to " wielding burch " in these 
parts. I want very much to be absent from the confusion 
that is to be found among us, being heartily tired of the 
continual disputes & jarrs caused by y e present agitation 
of affairs. 

If you have settled anything about a school, I should 
be glad you'd inform me by the first opportunity. There 
are several that would engage me, but they are hardly 
far enough from Boston, tho' I believe I shall take up 
with one on condition you have no vacancy near you. 
Write by the next post ; very like I shall be at Boston. 


My love to Ruthy & the children. * Respects to en- 
quiring friends. 

Your oblig'd servant, 

Jonx Elliott. 


Boston, Novem r 18, 1774. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — The affair of Mr. F. is a matter 
of too much jocosity to make a serious business of it. I 
dont suppose my father will resent it. He might perhaps 
have twitted him of his affectation to be of extensive 

I suppose you have received my packet which I sent 
to Portsmouth. There has nothing new turned up in 
public affairs since I w 7 rote that account, except a rumour 
that the Parliament is dissolved. Whether it is true I'm 
not able to say. D r Cooper in his sermon at the lecture 
today, among other things, mentioned that he was well 
inform' d the minds of people were more favourable to- 
wards us on the other side the Atlantic. It is generally 
supposed he has received a letter from D r Franklin. But 
should the Parliament be dissolved ? what advantage w r ill 
accrue to us ? It is rather a ministerial machination to 
distress us. A new Parliament may be assembled, fangled 
by Mansfield and the crew of my Lord North, before 
people have weigh'd well the important concerns of the 
nation, before they hear the proceedings of the Congress, 
& have time to reflect on the miserable condition of poor 
America. What fate awaits that nation, the people suffi- 
ciently corrupted, being governed by a more corrupt 
Ministry, where venality & bribery take the place of 
honest integrity! where governors w r ould deprive their 
subjects of the common rights of humanity ! 

* Mrs. Belknap was a cousin of the writer, and he seems to have been warmly attached 
to her, as well as to her husband. — Eds. 

1774.] JOHN ELIOT. 63 

Heaven protect us in these parts of the earth from the 
equally dang'rous extremes of a blind submission to the 
lawless power of the tools of state, or the greater tyranny 
of factious demagogues. 

President Langdon now sitts in the academical chair.* 
To give you my opinion of this gentleman sub rosa, I 
think him a compages of good sense, much learning, 
more arrogance, & no less conceit. His first setting out 
was beginning his expositions on Romans, detaining us an 
hour & half in the Chapel to hear them. The next was 
abolishing Sunday evening singing, to give more time for 
his harangue. I expect the next will be ordering the 
Bachelors to dispute, which will soon bring him & us by 
the ears. 

I am much oblig'd to you for the pleasure you express 
in holding a correspondence with me. It shall be my 
earnest endeavour to find matter for your entertainment. 
It is your part to supply litterary anecdotes. Anything 
of a scientific or general nature coming from you will 
afford me edification. 

My love to Ruthy & enquiring friends. I wrote to 
desire you to send by the post whether you had obtained 
a school. I would save you that trouble, concluding to 
spend the winter at Boston. 

My parent, respects. 

Every opportunity to send, improve, & expect punctual 
return from your obedient servant, 

John Elliott. 

P. S. Nov. 19. The Parliament is certainly dissolved. 
I have seen D r Cooper, & he tells me he has seen the 

* Rev. Samuel Langdon, D. D., became President of the College, Oct. 14, 1774. —Eds. 



Portsmouth, 18'. h November, 1774. 

My dear and reverend Sir, — I herewith return your 
MSS. chapter of the History of New Hampshire, which 
has afforded me great pleasure. Your care in this com- 
position disappoints the ambition of critical examination, 
and gratifys the more pleasing candour of friendship. 
Both combine in justifying my declaration, that I cannot 
suggest an amendment. 

In the first week of Oc* last, Nicholas Austin (the man 
whom some modern patriots at Rochester tyrannically 
insulted and abused for the sake of Liberty) w r as upon the 
White Hills. He ascended the second in height & mag- 
nitude, which he describes exactly as Cap* Neal did. But 
discovering a large mountain E. N. E. from this he trav- 
elled about eight miles to the .bottom. Ascending to the 
top or apex, he found it far exceeded all others in the 
horizon, computing it to be two miles higher than the ad- 
jacent country. From the easterly side about f rds up is- 
sued three small streams, which pursued different courses 
down the hill. The summit is a bare, gray rock of about 
two acres, without either earth or water. In its fissures 
grow common whortleberry shrubs, also a shrub some- 
what similar, bearing a berry of a sort he had never 
before seen. From such situations he drew out " very 
fine garden parsnips," as he called them, which from his 
description I conclude are rather a species of the hyoscy- 
amus, and caution'd him against using the produce of the 
seed that he gathered from them, and intends to sow in 
his garden. There was no other vegetation effected 
toward the height of the mountain, nor any animals ex- 
cept hares observed. He clearly discerned the Atlantic 
Ocean and all the settlements from Casco Bay westward 
to the heights of land between Con fc River and the Lakes 
St. George and Champlain and St. Francis River. From 

1774.] JOHN WENTWORTH. 65 

these circumstances I am inclin'd to think Cap* Neal was 
mistaken in supposing he had explored the highest moun- 
tain. Besides the unsuspected credibility of M r Austin, 
my own observations in the year 1772, when my curiosity 
led me on to the second, which I suppose Neal's moun- 
tain, perfectly agree with his relation. I have enter'd 
minutely into this detail to furnish materials only for a 
note in that page, if you think one necessary. 

In expectation that some anecdote or amusement may 
arise from the copy of a case I've lately officially agi- 
tated, I have put it under cover with this letter. It is 
all the copy remaining, and shall wish its early return, 
after y r perusal. 

Your kinsman, M r Elliot,* contributed much to the 
pleasure of my retreat from the disquieted scenes of 
public duty during his stay with me at W. House, which 
his well instructed mind and amiable deportment at his 
departure made me feel was but too short. 

I wou'd not infest you with a syllable on politics, but 
that I am convinc'd it will give satisfaction to your be- 
nevolent heart to hear that it is probable, at least it is my 
opinion, the clouds of distraction begin to disperse, and 
that there is some prospect of a civil creation soon emer- 
ging out of the present chaotic jumble of discordant polit- 
ical elements. That it may speedily rest upon its center 
and assume the fair form of Peace, Charity, universal 
safety, and wisest subordination, must be the anxious 
desire of all that cordially wish prosperity to America, in 
which number is surely included, as I verily beleive, both 
yourself and your sincere friend, 

J. Went worth. 

Reverend M r Belknap. 
* John Eliot. See letter from John Eliot to Jeremy Belknap, post, p. 75. — Eds. 



Portsmouth, 26th November, 1774. 

WnATEVER you think will be best after Cap* Allen has 
considered the jobb, I shall certainly embrace. The 
reason I am desirous to have it clone this fall, if it cou'd 
be, is that our principal work may be expected in the 
spring, and that our summer business may not be inter- 
rupted.* As to my eye on them, it is only my hope that 
happier times may put it in my power to retreat into 
those shades the next season. But this is so uncertain 
that I dare not set much upon it. 

Popular torrents cannot safely be check' t, without irre- 
sistable power ; yet it sometimes changes it[s] course and 
overwhelms the hand that opened the sluices. I am sorry 
that both your & my endeavors shou'd be so unsuccessful. 
Possibly M r L. may find that an olive branch shou'd ever 
be preferd.f Altho' I do not propose to do any thing 
more than may be necessary for my own safety, yet 
others may not be so reserved. I have sometimes tho't 
vindictive men consider themselves as invulnerable. How 
much grounds there can be for such an attribute to mor- 
tality let experience say ! Achilles had a tender heel. 
Argus's thousand eyes were put to sleep. And the slip- 
pery Ligurian in vain practiced his native arts, which the 
poet, conveying an elegant sentiment of the real ineffi- 
cacy of craft, says was in all its serpentine glory subdued 
by a female warrior, not deigning to assign the more 
dignified sex to such atchievement. When a man de- 
votes ev'ry thing to his own interest, and is incautious 
eno' to discover it to all, and inflict it on many, his art & 
a fortunate concurrence of circumstances may for a time 
procure him companions for an opposition, but never a 
solid attached party. Such a character wants the cement 

* See Governor Wentworth's letter, Oct. 25, 1774, ante, p. 58. — Ens. 

t The reference is probably to Peter Livius. See ante, pp. 44, 45, note. — Eds. 

1774.] JOHN WENTWORTH. 67 

necessary to bind together, and by frequent irritations of 
the natural feelings must produce such discordant, repel- 
lent principles as are incompatible with & destructive of 
that confidence essential to social combinations. 

It is not unlikely that the Assemblys or the Continent 
have some instructions from the great Congress, among 
w? I expect to find an adoption of all the measures 
entered on by the former. Had the separate colony rep- 
resentation been earlier admissible, it wou'd have pre- 
vented an union. Each wou'd have acted to its own 
interest, and of course afforded some contrariant claims. 
How far the difficulty can be remedied by a representa- 
tion at this day is more easily to be seen than desired by 
those who mean to find anything but unanimity. 

Whenever the period is arrived that the Colonies can 
expect to be invited to send an agent to negotiate their 
more than important concerns at the Court of Gr. Br., it 
will be truly glorious to the elected if happily they can be 
useful in obliterating those disquietudes which will shake 
the political elements of both countries into confusion and 
certain ruin, unless some American constitution is fixed. 

My kindest thanks are due for your designation to this 
superior object, — an object so desireable in ev'ry view 
of policy and universal philanthropy that its completion 
must ennoble the instruments in the brightest beams of 
their country's unalterable love, — a glory which ought 
to dazzle the eyes of ev'ry man that really loves both 
countrys so much as to render him inconscious of the 
imminent dangers that hang around the honorable preci- 
pice he must tread. 

You will kindly return me the inclosed ; it may pos- 
sibly explain matters which I intend to defer considering, 
or rather agitating, untill further advices from the same 
region shall render my path somewhat straiter. 

I have detain'd your man in hopes the post wou'd 
arrive, but am disappointed. I shall therefore dispatch 


him. The last ships have bro't no news, tho' many re 
turn'd captains of ships. It is probable Wilkes will come 
in for Middlesex ; if many such changes in the new P 
the adm s of 1766 will grow again into power. The Scar- 
boro' is said to be arriv'd, but no accounts what effed 
her dispatches had. Wherefore I think her arrival to be 

I am obliged in your preference of the mare, which ] 
will consider of, as she will not be out of your or mv 

I am, my dear Sir, 

Your very sincere friend, 

J. Wentworth. 

Hon ble Tho s W. Waldron, Esq. 


Portsmouth, 9 th December, 1774. 

Sir, — I beg leave to introduce to you my worthy 
friend Robert Temple, Esq.,* who is solliciting of Col Ba- 
ker and M r Henderson to liberate his brother, W m Temple, 
Esq., from their demand, as has been done by his cred- 
itors in England, and in this place, with a view to his 
beginning the w r orld anew. If this can be accomplish'd, 
I beleive there is a probability M r Temple may again 
recover, and be able to make some compensation to his 
creditors, which I have not the least doubt but he is hon- 
orably disposed to do. Therefore I consider a compliance 
to be not only very prudent, but also very charitable, and 
affords some prospect of recovering a debt that otherwise 
in its nature must be hopeless. Permit me, therefore, to 
intreat your influence and interest with these gentlemen, 
to whom 1 shall consider myself kindly oblig'd in their 

* Robert Temple, "of Ten Hills, near Charlestown, Now England,'' was a Loyalist, 
and a brother of Sir John Temple, who married a daughter of Governor Bowdoin. (See 
Sabine's American Loyalists, vol. ii. pp. 349, 350.) — Eds. 

1774.] JOHN WENT WORTH. 69 

friendly compliance. Be assured, Sir, that you'l find the 
bearer a gentleman of strict honour & virtue, & that, not- 
withstanding the fraternal interest he naturally has in 
the success of this business, you may depend on it he 
will be open, candid, generous, and upright ; and that 
you may safely rely on whatever he says in this or any 
other matter, and that whatever you may kindly aid 
herein shall be gratefully acknowledged as a favor done 
most essentially to 

Your friend and most humble serv*, 

J. Wentworth. 

Hon hl ? Tho s . W. Waldron, Esq. 


Portsmouth, 9 ,h Dec r , 1774. 

Dear Sir, — I wrote you by M r Temple to-day. The 
inclosed letter will give you the news. Probably four 
reg ts more are on our coasts or arriv'd at Boston, with 
more ships. I am in expectation of a man-of-war in this 
port next Sunday. It is said the American commerce is 
to be interdicted. God grant a pacific issue to these 
difficultys. I am exceedingly obliged in your letter by 
D r Haven. 

The popular leaders in Boston say they have favorable 
advices from London. But it is very probable the admin- 
istration are stronger in P. now than in the last. The 
minority, it is said, complain highly that the Americans 
have by their violence ruin'd their cause. 

I hear a royal camp is to be form'd at Concord, under 

General Haldimand. The Mass a Congress have adjourn'd 

to Worcester. This is all I can yet collect. I am in great 

haste, but ever 

Your faithful friend, 

J. Wentworth. 

Thomas W. Waldron, Esq. 



Portsmouth, 30th December, 1774. 

My dear Sir, — I have determin'd the bearer shall 
not complete the third I have stop'd some time, with 
intentions to write you a line, but disappointed by other 
intervening urgencys. Your letter with the books came 
safe to hand. 

The late confusions give me great pain indeed, not for 
myself, but for a people whom I love equally, such a 
precipitate movement upon an (now) known false rumour 
involving very deploreable consequences. I know not 
what to say in instigation of the insult on the British 
flag, halTd down with ignominy in N. H. ; it greives me 
to my soul, thus driven from my favorite stronghold of 
favorable representations by the mad intemperance of a 
few indiscreet zealots, who seldom want followers in folly. 
The inclosed copy is submitted to your amendment & 
early advice, whither any w d be eligible. 

We have two ships at the Castle, which will quietly 
consume some beef, and, if no violences attempted, in the 
spring proceed on their cruizing service. 

I have great beleif that America will be great and 
imperial. But the present disorders denote, or rather call 
down, an important check in their peace 1 (& so surest) 
career to magnitude. A treaty of commerce is concluded 
to admit Britain to a free trade in Russia & all its con- 
quests. This will more than compensate an American 
non import*, w h therefore will only wound themselves. 

This I suppose was Lord M d's late business to Paris. 

All accounts agree that America must be seriously con- 
sidered and establish'd in connection to Britain. Coercion 
seems to be the present determination. Whither Parlia- 
ment will support and nerve it with supplies is to me 

1774.] JOHN WENTWORTH. 71 

The leaders of opposition in Boston publickly disclaim 
& disapprove the manoeuvre here. In Rh. Island they 
are still more sick, and it is very confidently said the 
Assembly will reinstate their fort. 

Inclosed is M r Belknap's chapter IF, which pleases me 
greatly. Do give it to that good man with my best re- 

The two pamphlets herewith are just sent me. I have 
scarce read them. The one has good sense ; the other 
wit. But perfection is not sublunary. 

I wish to know when Esq r Plummer returns from Wolf- 
boro'. He is to bring some hides for M r Clarkson, to be 
lodg'd in your stores. I have two hhds. rum and two of 
molos. to send up when the craft comes for the hides. I 
shall want your aid in taking them to your house from 
the landing. I shall not delay sending stores to W. House, 
notwithstanding all the menaces. If it is destroy'd, let 
all go together. 

M rs Wentworth has been much frighted, and in great 
pain therefrom. She in vain summon'd all her fortitude. 
The starting tears often contradicted my advice, & made 
me fly from their powerful influence on my mind, which 
ought in such times to have no feelings of its own, and I 
think had not very many, except those tears. I wish to 
act with firmness, inflexible, equally distant from temerity 
and timidity. The best regards of this family attend you 
and yours. I am in daily hope of another young friend 
to be added to us and you, which renders us some sollici- 
tude, 'till happily perfected to, my dear Sir, 
Your affec* friend, 

J. Wentworth. 

Hon m T. W. Waldron, Esq. 



Portsmouth, 20 th Jany, 1775, 3 p. if. 

My dear Sir, — An half hour since M™ Wentworth 
was deliver'd of a sturdy, healthy boy after 17 hours, the 
severest natural labor D r Hall Jackson remembers.* How- 
ever, thanks be to God, she is now safely in bed, and, the 
D r says, without any unpromising circumstances. That 
affection which causes this to be a joyful event prompts 
me to present its object to your kindest good wishes, and 
to add him into that friendship which his parents most 
cordially esteem among their choicest acquirements. 
M r . 8 Wentworth, almost exhausted, permits my absence 
thus to bespeak good for her son, and desires her best 
regards to you and M rs Waldron. 

You'l see a parag'hp of news in the paper, s d to be 
from Gov r H. I fancy it will terminate in the tea duty? 
as I have sometimes told you heretofore. General G. 
writes me, 18" 1 ins* p. m., that the phrenzy evidently cools 
in his Province very fast indeed, that the}' now see their 
danger, & that they 've been duped into many indiscre- 
tions. At N. York it is expected their Assembly will 
protest against the Continen. Congress, — some of their 
secret manoeuvres having given great offence & alarm 
upon their discovery. We have no other news. The 
mare is safe in my stable, & pleases me exceedingly. 
I am, most sincerely, my dear Sir, 

Your faithful and obliged friend, 

J. Went worth. 

Hon hl . e 77io' Westbrook Waldron, Esq. 

* Charles Mary Wentworth (second Baronet) was educated in England, where he spent 
the greater part of his life. He died, unmarried, April 10, 1844. (See Wentworth Gene- 
alogy, vol. i. pp. 550, 551.) — Eds. 

1775.] JOHN WENTWORTH. 73 


Portsm , 27 th Jan?, 1775. 

My dear Sir, — Friend Austin deliver'd the pacquet 
of books very safe last evning. 

I hear the proceedings at Exeter are very warm and 
exceedingly irregular ; insomuch that some members have 
drawn of> and declare it is by no means a free Assembly .* 
Judge W. attempted to speak on the moderate side, but 
was so rudely treated that he cou'd not be heard, & many 
members vociferated, " A Tory within the bar. It is Tory 
nonsense, we 've had eno* of it." The Durham hero mov'd 
for a com tee to prepare a petition to the Gov r for an As- 
sembly, & that he w* not dissolve it, whatever proceedings 
they may or might pursue. This was oppos'd by Judge 
W., Col Hale, & M r Wingate of Hampton, (Contra) sup- 
ported by J. Langdon, Folsom, Bordman, cum muttis aim. 
The opposition contended that they were delegated for 
particular express purposes, k cou'd not exceed them. 
Sullivan replied, that their whole meeting was unlawful, 
and therefore might do one thing as well as another. 
They were the people, & their powers unlimited ; that 
the Continental Congress was unlawful, yet they acted ; 
thus cutting up avowedly and censuring all the great 
agitations, and declaring those meetings riotous assemblys 
amenable to law. Yet from this destruction of premises 
to attempt an extension of a specific limitation into an 
uncontrouled dictatorial power, however absurd & dan- 
gerous the precedent, a majority were ready to sacri- 
fice their reason & constituents to their fears & to their 
popularity. I think there will be no restitution. Ev'ry 
moderate man is silenced. Paul Revere went express 

* The Second Provincial Congress of New Hampshire met at Exeter, Jan. 25, 1775. 
(See New Hampshire Provincial Papers, vol. vii. p. 442.) Its President, Hon. John Went- 
worth of Somersworth, must not be confounded with his kinsman, the Governor. — Eds. 


thither yesterday noon. It portends a storm rather than 
peace. The com tee at Boston give out that they 've wrote 
to the people at Marshfeild " not to molest the troops." 
This looks ominous against a fighting stomach. I have 
advices from Boston yesterday which hurry my plans un- 
expectedly. I wish I dare commit to paper. I must 
move the dismission to-day. Time may yet be gain'd by 
the Council, who will beg a few days to consider, as they 
usually do on important matters; secrecy will then be 
enjoined. I wish the partys w d leave ground for an 
amnesty ; but they strive to augment the reverse. Peace, 
my dear friend, has by unwise men been driven out. 
They shut the door against it[s] return. God forgive 
them. They know not what they do. Many of them, 
I verily beleive, are innocently wicked. It seems con- 
tradictory, but madness can no otherwise be express'd. 
Our hemisphere threatens an hurricane. I've in vain 
strove almost to death to prevent it. If I can bring out 
of it at last safety to my country & honor to our sov- 
reign, my labors will be joyful, and I yet think I shall. 
My heart is devoted to it. You know its sincerity, & 
that you & yours are dear to 

J. Wentworth. 

Hon 11 . 6 Tho s W. Waldron, Esq. 


Boston, Jan* 30 th , 1775. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — Our cousin acquaints me that he 
has received a letter from you wherein you make great 
complaint of my negligence in writing to you. I think 
it expedient, therefore, to introduce this letter with some 
apology, lest I should lose that favorable esteem & regard 
which appears from the agreable epistles I have received 
from you to possess your mind & is matter of much pleas- 
ing reflection to me. 

1775.] JOHN ELIOT. 75 

Upon the receipt of your last, I immediately sat down 
to answer it, collecting all the news which was then 
stirring, & was impatient for an opportunity to send it. 
This was some time before vacancy. I still pleas'd my- 
self with the expectation of sending it by Evans ; but 
after ransacking College several times, I was unable to 
find him or hear anything of him. The matter in it 
being by this time stale, I think it best to begin entirely 
new. I trust your ingenuity will lead you to think me 
in some measure excuseable, & that you '11 impute my 
negligence to some other cause than want of affection. 

I am much oblig'd to you for your kind wishes for my 
welfare, & think myself highly honor'd by the notice your 
worthy friend express'd of me in his letter to you. Tho 
sensible of the honor done me by so excellent a person, 
in whom are united the erudition of the scholar & the 
polite accomplishments of the gentleman, I hope it will 
be a means of exciting emulation rather than of feed- 
ing my vanity.* 

It gives me pleasure that my little donation meets 
with acceptance, & I 'm quite proud that my taste agrees 
so exactly with the lady's you mention. The method of 
promoting social libraries I'm fond of, & could heartily 
wish that persons of ability had my inclination to con- 
tribute to the more general establishment of them. It 
would be a means of diffusing knowledge thro* all ranks 
of people, of dissipating the ignorance & darkness that 
obscure the human mind, & better preparing men for 
the reception of the truth. f 

Future ages will admire & speak in rapture of the 
beneficence which distinguished] the late M r Hollis.t 
May there be found many equally friends to literature. 

* The reference is to Governor Wentworth. See ante, p. 65. — Eds. 
t Mr. Belknap was much interested in the maintenance of a social library at Dover. 
See letter of Joseph Allen, Jr., Jan. 14, 1794, post, p. 566. — Eds. 

J The third Thomas Hollis, who died in 1774, and who had given much to the College 


I reckon you a very good politician, gliding between 
the shoals of Scylla & Carybdis. The vessel toss'd by 
the present storm needs an able pilot at helm to keep it 
from sinking in the political ocean. Was it not by the 
prudence of in[di]viduals we should be in more danger. 
Querulous & quarrelsome men, both of the inhabitants 
& soldiery, might otherwise bring things to a rupture. 
We have had several instances of this since I have been 
in Boston this vacancy. Last Friday sevennight an affray 
happened between the watchmen & a number of officers 
which might have been of serious consequences. Be- 
twixt ten & eleven in the evening an officer in liquor 
desired the watch to go home with him. A young gen- 
tleman of the town, seeing him with two men & thinking 
him abus'd, went to the British Coffee House, & ac- 
quainted the officers collected there that one of their 
companions was involuntarily led away & made prisoner 
by the watch. They rushed out, attacked the watchmen 
with drawn swords, & held the battle till orders were 
received from the Governor to disperse. They were ex- 
amined in the Court House before Justice Quincey, & are 
bound over for their appearance. The next day there 
was a quarrel in the Market, but ended without blood- 
shed. His Excellency seems dispos'd to do everything 
in his power to prevent mischief & satisfy the people, 
& me judice y the times being considered, is a very good 

We have the pleasure of a great number of marines 
for our neighbours, which pass daily by our door, tho' 
never disturb us ; several were buried last week. Ac- 
cording to the course of mortality, many will fall off 
from so large a body as the soldiers make in this town ; 
but I fancy the numbers are greatly increas'd before the 

Library. Three generations of the llollis family were among the principal benefactors of 
the College. (See Quincy's History of Harvard University, vol. ii. pp. 525, 526.) — Eds. 
* For a minute account of this affair, see the Boston Gazette for Jan. 30, 1775. — Eds. 

1775.] JOHN ELIOT. 77 

news arrives at Dover, to judge from the reports of my 
friends at some distance from Boston. 

Some of their funerals are worth seeing. The mourn- 
ful dirge, joined to the chaunting of some select musicians, 
gives the exhibition an air of solemnity.* 

There is one thing I would not fail to mention, as I 
think it a capital affair, & well worthy traditionary pres- 

You may remember there is a declivity from the lane 
opposite School Street, which in the winter season the boys 
make use of as a coasting-place. Here not long since a 
number of boys were assembled for the purpose afore- 
said. A servant of General Haldiman's (whose stables 
were in that lane), being displeas'd by the slippery walk- 
ing their amusement occasioned, maugre their pleadings 
& threatnings, scattered ashes over the place, & spoiled 
their fun. With the true spirit of the sons of Boston, 
they chose a committee to wait upon the General to re- 
monstrate against the proceedings, & complain of the 
maltreatment they had received from his servant. When 
the servant came to the door, he asked their business ; 
they replied it was with the General. The servant 
was ordered to wait upon them into the parlour. The 
chairman informed the General that they were a com- 
mittee from the boys, sent to make complaint of the 
invasion of their rights made by one of his servants ; that 
he had spoiled their sport by tossing a quantity of ashes 
over a spot of ground which they & their fathers before 
them had taken possession of for a coasting-place. The 
General at first did not understand what they meant by 
the term coasting. When informed of its meaning, he 
called all his servants, and, being told which was the 

* "By the Account kept of the Burials in this Town," says the Boston Gazette for Jan t 
30, 1775, "it appears that there have been buried from the several Regiments, from the 
10th of July, 1774, to the 27th of January, 1775, 1 Captain, 1 Lieutenant, and 123 Men, 
Women, and Children, besides several Seamen from the Men of War & Transports." 
— Eds. 


offender, ordered him to go & throw water on the place 
sufficient to rectify the damage caus'd by the ashes. 
He treated the committee with a glass of wine, & they 
took their leave. 

General Haldiman in great good humour told the 
story at General Gage's table, which afforded the com- 
pany great diversion. The Governor observed that they 
had only caught the spirit of the times, & that what was 
bred in the bone would creep out in the flesh. 

I hope our Prseses will be a useful man. He is rather 
more popular than he was. 

My health is much the same as when I left Dover. 
I intend to taste the salubrious air of your town again 
before a great while, having received so much benefit 
from my former visit. 

I have never been able to see M r Fisher, tho' T have 
been twice or thrice to his house. The first time I was 
at Salem he was out of town. I left a billet at. his house, 
begging he would acquaint me when he should be at 
leisure, but received no answer to it. If I can get an 
opportunity to Salem after the vacation I'll make him 
another visit. 

I have not been able to get one of M r Dickinson's 
pamphlet.* Cox & Berry expect some soon from Phila- 
delphia. When they come I'll procure one. I send you 
a little pamphlet wrote by a young gentleman in the 
army, which asks your acceptance.! The controversy 
about the Congress is like to be voluminous. 

* Tho pamphlet referred to was probably "An Essay on the Constitutional Tower of 
Great Britain over the Colonies in America," which was published in the latter part of the 
preceding year. — Eds. 

t "The Strictures on tho Friendly Address examined, and a Refutation of its Principles 
attempted. Addressed to the People of America." The Library of the Historical Society 
contains two copies of this pamphlet, one a presentation copy from the author to Dr. Eliot; 
the other (probably the copy here referred to) given by Dr. Belknap on the organization of 
the Society. The author was Lieutenant Henry Barry of the 52d Regiment. He served 
for several years in America, and afterward distinguished himself in India. He left the army 
previous to the breaking out of the French Revolution, and died at Rath, Nov. 2, 1823, 
Bged about seventy-three. (See Rose's Biographical Dictionary, vol. iii. p. 248.) — Eds. 

1775.] JOHN WENTWORTH. 79 

The oration of M r Wheelock is rather, in my opinion, 
a juvenile performance, tho' in some respects pretty. # 

My father desired me to ask you who wrote that let- 
ter from Durham. The abilities of these gentlemen (the 
Committee) seem somewhat doubted this way. 

You may remember I mentioned to you something 
concerning small pieces of money. My father has such 
a piece (the penny) as you produced. It was a New 
England penny he was desirous to obtain. If you will 
dispose of some of your pieces to me, I will satisfy you 
in a way that will either suit you or Cousin Kuthy. 
, Our love to Ruthy & the children. My respects to 
Cap* Waldron & enquiring friends. I expected M r Cooper 
would have call'd to see me when he was in town. 
Your affectionate friend & servant, 

John Elliott. 

P. S. I hope you will be able to read this letter. 


Portsmouth, Febr? 8 th , 1775. 

My dear Sir, — Cap* Dame safely bro't me your favor 
yesterday, and just in time to enable me conveniently to 
gain further respite concerning the sollicited cadet com- 
pany. Cap* W.'s absence made it necessary to defer any 
final answer untill I cou'd see him, which the other two 
tho't was but decent toward their proposed commander. 

At the same time Major Evans applied, I recommended 
him to be Col Boyd's Lieu* and wait his return. Proba- 
bly the Col is already contented with his title, & nothing 
more will be done. 

* The reference is probably to "An Essay on the Beauties and Excellencies of Painting, 
Music, and Poetry, pronounced at the Anniversary Commencement at Dartmouth College, 
a. d. 1774. By John Wheelock, A.M., Tutor of said College. Published at the Desire 
of the Audience." —Eds. 


There is no doubt S. has his spies, & none can be more 

ready for the office than H. J n ; * neither can there 

be one more deceptive or less to be relied on. He skill- 
fully attended the perilous hour lately in this house, but 
does not visit here. Even at that time, when retir'd from 
his professional call, he prefer'd the jolly, laughing ser- 
vants' hall to the master's parlour, in which I quietly ac- 
quiesced. Here his unmeaning invention was triumphantly 
exercis'd. Obstetric anecdotes, surgery, military instruc- 
tion, and political phantoms by turns entertain'd the 
circle ; and the next day his own storys he retail'd on 
the parade as news from the Province House. The evacu- 
ations of this mental dysentery the Major can have no 
profit in, but will tend to mislead him further. His ex- 
pectations of dismission arise from his own consciousness, 
I am persuaded. The Council advised thereto in ev'ry 
instance, but left me to judge the proper time. I requir'd 
secrecy on their oaths. In this point it rests untill after 
23 rd ins*. 

It is certain letters are rece'd from London at Boston, 
N. York, & Philadelphia, declaring that American vio- 
lences have proceeded to indefensible lengths, & have 
overthrown their zealous friends, w r ho cannot conscien- 
tiously act in their defence or attempt their justification. 
The agent of N. York, it is confidently said, & I think 
from good authority, has wrote his constituents that they 
must not expect anything of him untill they retreat. 
Cap* Dame will have the papers by the post. Inclosed 
is one I accidentally took up last night which contains a 
sensible peice on Amer. matters. The Declaratory Act 

* Dr. Hall Jackson was a distinguished physician and surgeon in Portsmouth, N. II., 
where he died Sept. 28. 1797, in the fifty-eighth year of his age. " His sprightly talents, 
lively imagination, and social habits rendered him an agreeable companion; facetious and 
pleasant In conversation, his friends enjoyed in his company ' the feast of reason ' with the 
flow of wit; and the several societies of which he 'was a member found their entertainment 
greatly heightened by his presence." (See Adams's Annals of Portsmouth, pp. 315, 31G.) 
— Eds. 

1775.] JOHN ELIOT. 81 

has guarded against the absurdity supposed by the Br. 
American. If the exercise had been suspended the Act 
might have contented Parliamentary honor, and the pres- 
ent difficultys never arisen. 

I have inclosed some late magazines, &c a , for enter- 
tainment of my friends. 

M rs W. grows better ; her son is unwell. We sincerely 
wish you ev'ry blessing. 

I am, with great truth, my dear Sir, your sincere friend, 

J. Wentworth. 

The peice was published, & no writing left with the 
printer, or ever seen. The inspectors of the press being 
at Exeter all the time. 

Hon h l e Thomas W. Waldron, Esq. 


To The Rev d M r Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, Feb. 18, 1775. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — I have just received your kind 
letter, & am sorry I have not more time allowed me to 
write. Tho' there is so great an agitation in our political 
affairs, yet I can't give you a succinct account, & must 
therefore refer it to some other opportunity. I propose 
taking a journal of things important as they turn up, 
which I intend to enclose in my letters to you. 

The author of the " Strictures Examined " is a young 
gentleman of my acquaintance, an officer in the fifty- 
second, now station' d with us, an ingenuous, calm, worthy 
man. The enclosed is another production of his, which 
asks your acceptance.* 

* " The Advantages which America derives from her Commerce, Connexion, and De- 
pendence on Britain. Addressed to the People of America." The copies which belonged 
to Dr. Belknap and Dr. Eliot both have the author's name on the title-page, in the hand- 
writing of Dr, Eliot. — Eds. 



I have seen M r Kelly's piece, but never read it.* M r 
Murry is a gentleman excelling more in brilliancy of im- 
agination than strength of genius.t Any coins you have 
duplicates of, I would be glad to be favored with. 

I am yours affectionately, 

J. Eliot. 


Cambridge, Feb^ 28, 1775. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — The leafty scroll you lately re- 
ceived from me I don't consider as an answer to your 
letter, for the receipt of which the utmost efforts of my 
poor little capacity will very insufficiently discharge my 
obligation. $ Whatever I write arises from affection, and 
are the effusions of an honest heart, which I 'm willing to 
center in the bosom of friendship. The ungaurded famil- 
iarity with which I express myself is a mark of intimacy 
which I should take with very few, knowing your senti- 
ments to be different from the ebullitions of party zeal, 
which are the principles that guide the most at the 
present day. 

With pleasure I heard of an opportunity to send to 
Portsmouth, & think my time well spent in writing to my 
friends in New Hampshire. I suppose there is continual 
passing between Portsmouth & Dover, tho' should you 
miss of receiving this in proper season, acquaint me with 

* Rev. James Roily was a prominent Universalist preacher m London-, and it was 
through his preaching that Rev. John Murray was converted to the doctrines peculiar to 
that denomination. (See Eddy's Universalism in America, vol. i. pp. 114-123.) — Eds. 

t Rev. John Murray, the founder of Universalism in the United States, was born in 
Alton, Hampshire-, England, Dec. 10, 1741, and came to America in 1770. Here he had a 
varied experience ; but in October, 1793, he was settled over a society in Boston, and he 
continued its minister until 180!), when he was entirely disabled by paralysis. He died 
Sept. 3, 1815. (See Drake's Biographical Dictionary; Eddy's Universalism in America.) 

— P^DS. 

J Mr. Eliot's letter of January 30th, to which he applies the epithet "leafty," covers 
eight pages. — Eds. 

1775.] JOHN ELIOT. 83 

it, & I will improve some other way of conveyance for 
the future. 

The sub rosa paragraph afforded me much diversion. 

M r A character I had heard somewhat in New 

Hampshire. In a novel of Fielding's (Joseph Andrews) 
one Parson A. makes a principal personage. The char- 
acters are something similar. M r of D— — is 

much more consistent with Fielding's parson than your 

neighbour the Bishop of N , because of his being a 

man of ingenuity & learning. 

The reasons of my asking the question about the 

political letter, I gave you. Our M r Lawyer A 

said that M — j — r S was not equal to it. My fa- 
ther has no great opinion of the other gentleman. 
Your answer was quite satisfactory. I intend being ac- 
quainted with M r A when I visit your "salubrious 

regions " again. He has a pretty daughter ; that is attrac- 
tion enough, whatever may be elevations or depressions 
of the father. 

Emulation is a noble passion of the mind ; to be dis- 
tinguished as a man of virtue & lover of mankind is 
ambition laudable & to be envied, the seeds of which 
should be nourished till it becomes a vine, overshadowing 
& withering the vices of mankind by its benignant effects, 
& restoring human nature to pristine excellency. But 
when ambition's utmost stretch is employed to render 
one exteriorly conspicuous, tho' perhaps on the ruins of 
honour & honesty, it should be nip'd in the bud, & the 
mind in which it is engrafted by continual mortification 
become sufficiently guided by reason & prudence. I have 
known many who would not value trampling on the 
rights of mankind, yet stand first to oppose the encroach- 
ments on the rights of a borough. You may easily judge 
of the person I had in my eye that gave rise to the 
expressing of this sentiment. 

Nothing new has of late turn'd up in the political 


world since the prorogation of our Provincial Congress. 
The most hostile appearance is on both sides. I dread 
the result or end of these military preparations, & can 
find comfort only in the reflection that a most beneficent 
Governor is at the helm of the universe. He can bring 
order out of confusion, & in His hands I desire to leave 
all things. To speak a little concerning second causes, I 
can't imagine which way matters can be compromis'd to 
the honour of the Crown & the security* of our rights. 
The Congress have drawn a line which will never be sub- 
mitted to while British blood flows in the veins of Eng- 
lishmen. Our people will never be contented with less, 
tho' wading knee deep in maternal blood or deluging the 
land with our own may be the consequence. Every day 
the soldiers more or less perambulate the adjacent towns, 
whether with other views than exercise & airing I pre- 
tend not to say. I have conversed with many gentlemen 
of the army who seem'd much averse to encounter with 
their fellow subjects, but think the Congress by their late 
resolves have declared war against them. 

I can't but think your Colony is about being involved 
in the same calamity. It was a wicked scheme proposed 
in the Congress, & I am very glad it was overuled. How 
stand matters with Governor Wentworth now ? Every- 
thing affects me which tends to distress that gentleman. 
Gratitude obliges me to speak of him in the highest 
terms of respect. But setting aside my personal obliga- 
tions, I respect him as a Governor, &, what is more, love 
him as a man. I feel for him in these times of difficulty 
& trouble, & frequently recollect an extract from a letter 
he sent to Cap' Waldron, when he heard of the massacre 
that happened at Boston some years ago. " Retired from 
noise & tumult," says he, "I think myself more happy in 
my humble situation under Mewse Hill than pomp & 
grandeur can confer." I won't be sure these are the 
words, but the sentiment is good & worthy of the most 

1775.] JOHN ELIOT. 85 

ingenuous of men. I long, yet dread, to know the effect 
of his proclamation. 

" Sudden transitions in letters are analogous to sudden 
turns in conversation," — I will go on therefore to speak 
of M r Murray. He has made a great noise in Boston, & 
most of the libertines of the day attended him. I heard 
him once. What he said was small, but his friends agreed 
in affirming this was his worst discourse. Some gentle- 
men of sense have told me he discovered a florid fancy in 
some of his discourses, tho' I can't find he has any seri- 
ousness at bottom. M r Relly is rather on the plan of the 
late M r Law & Jacob Beehman. I never read him. 

I know of no translation of Charlevoix. I will send it 
with pleasure if I can procure it. 

My love to M rs Belknap k the children & am yours. 


Cambridge, April 11, 1775. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — Two of your letters are now 
before me. They have been a very good feast to me, & 
if possible increase my obligations. I will never com- 
plain of the length of your epistles, but shall receive the 
greater proportion of pleasure as you spread paper with 
your sentiments. 

I communicated to my friend Barry the objections to 
many parts of his pamphlet on the advantages of the connec- 
tion, &c. The subject, so far as relates to the lumber 
trade, &c, I am entirely unacquainted with, & suppose 
you must know more of the trade than he. What I 
chiefly admire in this gentleman is the ingenuity & hu- 
manity he discovers in all his actions, as well as his 
writings. I shall be more particular upon this matter in 
my next. I fear we look upon it as a matter of too little 
concern to be disconnected with Great Britain. The case 


is almost fad, & the distresses now threatning- us con- 
vince me (setting aside every other view of things) that 
we have been too precipitate. I wish with all my heart 
your very rational scheme of paying the national debt 
was put in practise. But as each party have proceeded 
to such extremes, it is now too late to think of any other 
method than obtaining redress by the dint of the sword. 
I doubt whether anything less than the lives of many of 
our leaders would satisfy the malevolence of the Ministry, 
& our Congress have declared they will accept of nothing 
less than giving law to Great Britain. In short, the parent 
state looks upon us as petulant, froward children, that 
have been humoured too long, & need correction to make 
us sensible of our faults, & we esteem her to be an old 
woman with one leg in the grave, & we seem ready to 
throw the dust over her whole body. Soon, very soon, 
shall we both find ourselves mistaken. She will find us 
to be arrived at juvenility, with the strength & vigour 
attending that period of life, & likewise teach us that 
her blood circulates in the smallest veins. Time & incli- 
nation forbid me to pretend painting the horrors of civil 
war, & gladly I forbear. 

Massachusettensis & Novanglus have taken different 
routs. Each discovers great ingenuity & learning. The 
writer of Mas. is supposed to be M r Leonard & his antag- 
onist M r John Adams. They will both be printed in 
pamphlets. After repeated enquiry I have not been 
able to obtain M r Dickinson's publication, Charlevoix, or 
Fleetwood. The Political Disquisitions consist of two large 
octavo volumes, wrote by M r Burgh, the author of the 
Dignity of Human Nature. I know of no one who has 
them at present but M r J. Adams, to whom the author 
sent them. Most of the fine speeches, &c. are there col- 
lected, with many excellent quotations, interspersed with 
the ingenious remarks of M r Burgh. I will send M r Ber- 
nard's letters the next opportunity. Evans will go on 

1775.] SAMUEL SEWALL. 87 

his journey this afternoon, & I have been unable to write 
before, & can scarce now connect two ideas, being very 
poorly & much relaxed. You will therefore excuse my 
brevity. Your Province will be under much the same 
predicament, I believe, with our own. Excepting this, 
one place must be dealt with first. I wish your excellent 
Governor might continue with you. Sir W m Draper's 
character is high, both as a man of letters & of mili- 
tary abilities; but I had much rather be under the 
government of M r Wentworth. 

I am much obliged to you for the benevolence you 
discovered in the friendly criticism on my metaphor, I 
think your remark very just. I wish for many such 

My state of health is such that I may probably ride 
soon to Dover. What the condition of our College will 
be no one knows : most likely we shall all be dismiss' d from 
Cambridge, & a thought has entered my head to take 
your school for two or three months at furthest. Be so 
kind as to mention in your next whether it is vacant, at 
what part of the town it will be kept, & in what house I 
should live, supposing I come. 

I will inform you concerning M r Bacon the next op- 
portunity. Am much obliged to you for your coins, & 
remain your affectionate friend & humble servant* 


M r Joseph Belknap, Boston. 

[May, 1775.] 

Dear Sir, — I have been to the Steward's at Camb ge . 
He has left his house, which is at present the head-quar- 

* This letter has a flourish instead of a signature at the end. — Eds. 

t Probably Samuel Sewall, great-grandson of Chief Justice Samuel Sewall, and himself 
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. He was born Dec. 11, 1757, gradu- 
ated at Harvard College in 1776, and died June 8, 1814. 

Joseph Belknap, father of Jeremy Belknap, removed to Dover not long after the break- 
ing out of the war, and continued to reside there during the remainder of his life. His 


ters of our troops. There is nothing more to be trans- 
acted now in College affairs, so that both those bills may 
be omitted payment. I have inclosed the butler's bill. I 
should be exceeding glad to have the money, as you are 
going so great a distance. M r Hopkins will deliver it to 
me at the Ferry, where I shall be waiting. 

I have the pleasure to inform you that M rs Belknap & 
Nabby got safe to Maiden on Saturday afternoon. 

The inclosed letter is of importance. I wish it might 
be delivered as soon as possible. Leverett, to whom I 
desire my love, will be so kind as to deliver it to my aunt 
& wait for an answer. 

1 am, Sir, in great hurry, you[r] obliged & obedient 
humb, serv* 

S. Sewall. 

Monday Morn g . 


[May, 1775.] 

Dear Sir, — M rs Belknap received a letter from your 
son last evening, dated 30 th of April, by M r Wallingford. 
He writes that he is safe at home, & as soon as he hears 
of Boston's being open he will bring or send his horse & 
chaise. She & Nabby are at Maiden now & well. They 
desire you would get every thing over the Ferry that you 
can ; more especially the trunks, barrels, &c, that were 
packed up. You may send them safely without coming 
yourself, if you provide some person to receive them on 
this side the Ferry. Any person of your acquaintance in 
Charlestown will receive them into their house. M rs Bel- 
knap will send to your son for a cart, which will receive 
them there & carry them to Dover. I shall wait on this 
side the Ferry for an answer which I should be glad, Sir, 
if you would send immediately. I should be equally glad 

wife died Oct. 12, 1784, and he died Aug. 30, 1797. (See Life of Jeremy Belknap, by his 
Granddaughter, p. 91.) —Eds. 

1775.] JOHN ELIOT. 89 

of receiving at the same time an answer to the letter I 
sent you yesterday. 

You will be so kind as to inform Leverett that his. bed, 
trunk, &c. are in his study, & if he approves of it I will 
have them carried to Mother Nutting's. Tell him that I 
long to see him out of town, & that I would advise him 
to come out by all means. Pray, Sir, send me an answer 

I am, with respect, your obliged & obedient humble 


S. Sewall. 

P. S. I am in great want of a pocket-book. You 
would oblige me much if you would procure one in town 
& send it over by M r Hopkins. 


Rev d M r Belknap, Dover. To the care of M r Richard Champney, 


Milton, May 26, 1775. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — I am under the greatest obliga- 
tions to you for your kindness in procuring me the school. 
I received your letters last evening, & shall not fail to 
come immediately to Portsmouth after I can acquaint my 
father with my situation. You may expect me certainly 
next week or the week . after. My father continues in 
Boston with two of my brothers to keep him company.* 
He is in a lonely, melancholy state, & desirous of coming 
out, but can't reconcile it to his duty to leave so many 
people destitute of all Gospel ordinances. The rest of 
the family are at Fairfield. I inclose a short epistle from 

* Rev. Andrew Eliot, D. D., minister of the New North Church, remained in Boston 
through the whole of the siege. His eldest son, of the same name, (born Jan. 11, 1743, 
graduated at Harrard College in 1762, died Oct. 26, 1805,) was minister of the church in 
Fairfield, Conn. — Eds. 


your brother Sam 1 , which he sent on the back of packet 
sent me by my father. He would have gone to England 
from Boston ; but his wife was unwilling. It is dated 
May 15 th , & I suppose he is at Halifax by this time. 
My love to Ruthy & the children. 

I am your obliged friend & servant, 

John Eliot. 


Exeter, July 6, 1775. 

Sir, — We have at present no chaplains with our forces 
at Cambridge. The Committee of Safety have just now 
resolved that you be applied to to act in that very neces- 
sary work. I can't but hope, Sir, that you will be dis- 
posed & obtain the consent of your people to comply 
with their desire. I am sensible that it will be in many 
respects a self-denying work, but I trust this w T ill not 
discourage you. It is surely very important that our 
many friends & brethren in the army, engaged in a cause 
which we trust God approves, surrounded with deaths & 
temptations, should not want the advantages of social 
worship, & the more private instructions, cautions, & en- 
couragements which may be afforded by a faithful chap- 
lain. I can't but hope that all objections will be over-ruled. 
I conclude that the ministers in the part of the [countr]y 
from w T hence I come will endeavour to have one of their 
number generally or constantly at Cambridge. Some of 
the ministers in this part of the country talk of the same 
plan. Sir, I hope you will easily determine to comply 
with the desire of the Committee. Whenever 3^011 can 

* This letter was written by Rev. Samuel Webster, Jr., of Temple, N. H. (son of Rev. 
Samuel Webster, D.D., of Salisbury, Mass.). He was born Sept. 10, 1743, graduated at 
Harvard College in 1702, was a member of the second Provincial Convention of New 
Hampshire, served for a short time as a chaplain in the army, and died Aug. 4, 1777. (See 
Blood's History of Temple, N. II.) — Ens. 

1775.] ANDREW ELIOT. 91 

determine, you will be kind enough to send word to the 

With much respect, from your friend & brother, 

Samuel Webster. 

To the Rev d M r Belknap. 


Rev d M r Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, Aug. 3, 1775. 

My dear Sir, — I rec d yours of June 17, yesterday; 
am obliged to you for your regard to my son, & intreat 
your constant advice & assistance to him in this critical 
time of his life. I can do but little for God & his people, 
but hope my tarrying here has been of use. I am con- 
tinually employed in visiting the sick, who are numerous, 
in attending the prisoners, tho' it has not been tho't 
proper I should see them of late. I wish I could make 
you the visit you so kindly propose, but fear I shall 
not be able. When I leave the town I must make haste 
to Fairfield. My son Sam 11 will leave us to-morrow. He 
& Josiah desire to be remembered to you & yours. 
Josiah cannot find time to write to John at present. My 
situation is difficult eno', but my God strengthens me. 
Things will, I am persuaded, issue well in God's time & 
way. I leave all with him. 'T is a comfort that the 
Gospel opens to us prospects far superior to any this 
world can yield. My best regards to your father & 
mother, your wife, sisters, & all other friends with you. 
I snatch this moment, but have only time to assure you 
of what I hope you do not [need] assurance, that I am 
Your obliged friend, brother, & serv\, 

And w Eliot. 



To Mrs. Ruth Belknap. In Dover, New Hamps. 

Cambridge, October 18, 1775. 

My Dear, — I should omit writing till to-morrow 
morning, but must go as far as Milton this afternoon, & 
am afraid shall not be back here time eno' for the post. 
I got here safe & well, & find the place & army much 
more healthy than I supposed. Last night a floating bat- 
tery was sent down Cambridge River toward the bottom 
of Boston Common with design to take a floating battery 
belonging to the regulars that lay in the bay. They had 
orders also to fire into Boston, directing their tire toward 
the Governor's house, the lanthorn of w ch was illuminated. 
They fired several shot into y e town & caused an alarm 
there, but unfortunately one of their guns split, & 
wounded seven men, 2 of whom are since dead ; the 
cartridges took fire at y e same time, k y e battery was 
sinking, but was towed up the river ag n . I forbear any 
remarks on this proceeding till I see you. A vessell with 
flour for the regular army is taken & carried into Con- 
necticut. M r Cary told me he heard D r Franklin (who 
by y e way is here as one of a comittee from the Grand 
Congress to consult with the Generals about future opera- 
tions) read a letter fr- England, by w cb it appears that the 
Hanoverians will not come this winter. A vesell from 
England is arrived at Nantucket ; the papers are not yet 
come to hand, perhaps they will come today. An assault 
on y e town of Boston is much the subject of conversation 
here, & I am afraid it will be attempted ; if it is really 
intended, I should think it rather injudicious to [make] 
such faint attempts as last night ; but I forget myself. 
D r . Church is still under confinement, & has had no tryal 
as yet. Tell M r9 Cerrish that Sam does not intend to 
enter on board a privateer, as she heard. The men from 

1775] PAINE WING ATE. 93 

Dover are in general well. Tom Meder is very poorly. 
M r M.'s account of y e army I find to be too true. I ex- 
pect if weather permits to be at home by Tuesday night. 
Yours in haste, w love to y e child 11 . 

J. B. 


To the Rev d Jeremy Belknap. In Dover. 

Hampton Falls, Oct. 23 d 1775. 

Dear Sir, — With utmost readiness & pleasure I will 
contribute whatever is in my power for your assistance 
in so desireable a performance as that you have in hand. 
And agreable to your request have applyed to Col. Weare 
for papers of his ancestor, N. Weare, who has searched 
among his papers, and found several, which I have trans- 
mitted to you with this letter in a bundle containing 
thirty numbers. The Col. told me there were many other 
valuable writings his grandfather had which thro' neglect 
before they came into his hands have been lost He has 
sent you all he cou'd find, & numbered them, not in any 
exact order, but principly to keep them from being scat- 
tered, which he desires you will return to him at some 
convenient opportunity. 

I am, Sir, with great respect, y r friend & humble 

Paine Wingate. 

To the Rev d M r Belknap. 

* Paine Wingate was born in Amesbury, Mass., May 14, 1739, and graduated at Har- 
vard College in 1759. In December, 1763, he wa ordained minister of the church in 
Hampton Falls r and he continued in that office until 1771. Subsequently he engaged in 
agriculture at Stratham, N. H. He was for a short time a member of Congress under the 
Articles of Confederation; from 1789 to 1793 he was a member of the Senate of the United 
States, and for the next two years a member of the House of Representatives: and from 
1798 to 1809 he was one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire. He died 
March 7, 1838. At that time he was the oldest living graduate of his College, (See 2 
Proceedings, vol. v. p. 205, note.) — Eds. 



The Rev d Jeremy Belknap. In Dover. 

Portsmouth, Nov; 30 th , 1775. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — I intended before this to have 
made a visit to Dover, & am not yet out of hopes of see- 
ing it before long. To bring it about I send this piece of 
paper with my best respects, requesting the favor of a 
change with you, either the ensuing Sabbath or the Sab- 
bath after next, as is most convenient. If the proposal 
meets your approbation, & you will please inform me by 
a line, you will much oblige, Eev d Sir, your unworthy 
fellow laborer in y e vineyard. 

D. Macclure. 

An agreeable piece of intelligence has just come to 
town, & authentic, y* one of o r privateers has taken a 
brig of 200 tons, with 30 tons of powder, 2000 stands of 
arms, mortars, & other warlike stores, — another argu- 
ment for devout thanks to Gd ! 


The Rev d M r Joseph Belknap, Pastor of the Ch h in Dover. 

Exetkr, 23 d Mar., 1776. 

Rev d Sir, — The Kev d M r Rogers has made me ac- 
quainted with the (even) necessitous circumstances of a 

* Rev. David McClure, P.P., was born in Newport. R. I., Nov. 18. 1748, and graduated 
at Yale College in 1769. After leaving college he taught in Moor's Indian Charity School, 
and was afterward a tutor in Partmouth College. In 1772 he was ordained as a missionary 
to the Indians, hut the mission was soon broken up by the troubles between the Colonies and 
the mother country. For the greater part of the next three years he preached in vacant 
pulpits in Boston and Portsmouth. He twice declined a call to become the successor of Rev. 
Pr. Langdon in the latter place. In November, 1776, he was installed as minister of the 
church in North Hampton, N. H., where he remained for nearly nine years. In June, 
1780, he became minister of the church in East Windsor, Conn., in which office he con- 
tinued until his death, June 25, 1820. (See Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit, 
vol li. pn. 7-0 ) — Ens. 

t Hon. John Phillips. LL. P., founder of Exeter Academy, was born in Andover, 
Mass., Pec. 27, 1710, graduated at Harvard College in 1735, and died in Exeter, April 21, 
1705. —Ens. 

1776.] ANDREW ELIOT. 95 

grandson of the late venerable & truly pious Doct r Sewall 
of blessed memory. You are pleas'd, dear Sir, to interest 
yourself in his behalf, and by this mean I come to share 
the sacred pleasure with you. My love to the good 
Doctor & his church, afflicted & scattered abroad,. & of 
consequence less able to afford relief in this case, induces 
me very eagerly to embrace such an opportunity of 
expressing a most cordial affection for one whom the 
good people of Boston, of that ch 1 ! in particular, must 
wish well to, and as I trust it is a service acceptable to 
God, how happy am I and how [thanjkful ought I to be. 
I now send fifty pounds, hoping if [after] the frugal 
expenditure thereof there should be occasion for more 
you will be pleas'd to give yourself the trouble — no ! 
the pleasure of letting me know what further sum wou'd 
be serviceable. 

I am, with respect, yours affectionately, 

John Phillips. 

Revt M: Belknap. 


Hev* Jeremiah Belknap, Dover. Favored by Cap* Martyn. 

Boston, March 26, 1776. 

My dear Sir, — I have only time to write very briefly 
in answer to your kind letter. Thro' the goodness of 
God I am well, but have endured much. I have not re- 
ceived any remarkable insults from our late despots. I 
kept as much as possible out of y e way. Your parents 
would be safe in coming back, but no business is yet done. 
I should think it best your father should come to look 
after his affairs. M r Eliot will not bring his wife [for] 
some time ; but if your mother should come there will 
be no difficulty but from her not finding proper accom- 
modations. I hope the manuscripts in the Old South 


steeple are not meddled with. D r Byles is well. He re- 
moved a few nights, I am told, during the cannonade, by 
which he was endangered. I have not seen him since. 
It is surprizing no one was killd, & only a boy hurt of 
the inhabitants, by all y e shells & shot thrown in upon 
us of late. My son is at Braintree. He is engaged in 
preaching at present. He ought to have written to you. 
I thank you for your kindness to him. The British troops 
are not all gone from Nantasket. Some departed today. 
I never expect to see them or any other British soldiers 
in Boston. God hath done great things for us whereof 
we are glad. God grant we may never forget his works. 
My regards to your dear wife, your parents, & all friends. 
I have much to write, but have time only to add y* I am 
Yours affectionately, 

A. Eliot. 

I am told the Province Records are carried off; possibly 
the Probate. I believe no other. 


Rev d 3I r Jeremy Belknap, Dover, New Hampshire. Per favor Bishop 


Dedham, July 4 th , 1776. 

Eev d & dear Sir, — Yesterday at the ordination I 
accidentally met your neighbour, the Bp. of Rochester,* 
who I think will do very well as a medium of communi- 
cation between us, & by whom you '11 receive this ex- 
pression of my friendship. You must not judge from the 
date of my letter that 1 have chang'd my place of abode, 

* Rev. Joseph Haven was born in Dedham, May 25, 1747, graduated at Harvard College 
in 1774, settled as minister of the church in Rochester, N. H., in 1776, and died Jan. 27, 
1825. The ordination referred to was that of Rev. Jabez Checkering as minister of the 
Second Parish in Dedham, afterward set off and incorporated as Norwood. (See Worthing- 
ton's History of Dedham, p. 116; Mann's Annals of Dedham, p. 109.) — Eds. 

1776.] JOHN ELIOT. 97 

& so direct it to the wrong place, lest it should meet with 
the fate of one [of] your former letters, which pass'd thro' 
several" towns & fifty or an hundred hands in every place, 
each one altering & emending the superscription till it 
was so variated & filled up as rendered it difficult to know 
y e meaning & took me longer to read it by odds than the 
contents of the letter. I am here acc[id]entally, only as a 
lay preacher, & spent this week in y e town to be present 
at the consecration of a Right Rev d Father. You may 
have an account of the proceedings from the bearer. 

I wonder how you got home with your lame horse. 
We feared you would not reach Haverhill, & I was so 
stupid as to forget to ask M r Haven about you. I hope 
you '11 forgive this forgetfulness when you consider my 
innate carelessness, w ch discovers itself on all occasions, 
oftentime making me appear singular, tho' more often 
ridiculous. We have had a very melancholy prospect 
before us of the fruits of the earth. The towns to y e 
southward of Boston suffered exceedingly. The fields 
entirely lost their verdure, & everything appeared with- 
ered & dried up. We had some very refreshing show- 
ers w ch have revived the plants, rendered y e air more pure 
& y e " ground more balsamic." (To use y e words of you 
know whom ; if you don't, ask M rs Belknap, & if [she] 
don't know, then I shall think your " cottage is very 
dark" indeed.) 

News of a public nature I don't know what to say 
about. I did hear some flying reports yesterday; but I 
don't believe them, & therefore won't mention anything 
about them. So much we are all sensible of, — that our 
affairs are very gloomy in Canada ; and the latest news 
is constan[t]ly an account of the latest defeat. That 
country (to use a vulgar expression) has been a sink of 
men's lives. If we look back, — from the first settle- 
ment how many are the battles w ch have been fought 
between y e savages & the French, the French & the 



English, & now the English & us ! How many brave 
warriors have moistened that land with their blood, & 
what scenes of desolation open to our view ! I know not 
what will be the end of these things ; but I foresee much 
bloodshed before we are in full possession of that exten- 
sive Province. 

You doubtless heard that there was a fleet of 9 or 10 
sail w ch for some time coasted off our harbor. We should 
have had warm work had they attempted to come in, 
tho' our army was so numerous & well prepared that 
we must inevitably have taken them. Fortifications go 
on very briskly, more so than ever. Our soldiers are so 
afraid of being sent to Canada that they stand ready to 
garrison the forts before they find a place for the breast- 
work. Our Province have agreed to send 500 men to 
recruit the forces; but we shall find it difficult to raise 
men, tho large bounties are offered, even from our parsi- 
monious Court. 

Domestic Occurrences. — I was at Boston last week. 
My father & mother were gone to Salem. They were 
both well when they went away. Siah is gone to Con- 
necticut, so that our auditory nerves enjoy some repose.* 
I have been to Worcester since I saw you, & bro't Ruthy 
home.t It looks somewhat more natural, now we are all 
together. The town is more lively since the ships left the 
harbor. The general opinion is that the small pox must 
spread. It increases so fast there is no stopping it. 

I have had y e pleasure of reading Wynne's History of 
America since I saw you. The style is luxuriant, the 
diction generally good, & the narration is interspers'd 
with a variety of fine sentiments & pretty reflections. 
He is a High Churchman, tho' he speaks much in favor 
of liberality. But he is ungenerous & injurious in his 

* Josiah, or Siah, as he is familiarly called in these letters, was an older brother of the 
writer. — ED8. 

t Ruth was the second daughter and fifth child of Rev. Dr. Andrew Eliot. — Eds. 

1777.] JOHN ELIOT. 99 

characters of y e first settlers. He speaks of M r Eliot as 

one whom the formalists affected to call y e Apostle of 
y e New World. I would be larger in my account of this 

work, but must leave it till some other opportunity of 

Love to your family. 

Yrs., J. Elliot. 


Boston, Jany. 12, 1777. 

My dear Sir, — I am almost ashamed to write to you. 
I have been so very negligent in my duty, & am al- 
together so very destitute of matter for apology, that I 
am really persuaded you must think very oddly of me, & 
therefore the only thing I can say is by way of promising 
to reform, which must be of little weight, as you have so 
little reason to rely upon my promises. 

I think you begun an iEra from the receipt of my last 
letter. If nothing important in the epistolary way has 
turned up since that time, sufficient matter has been in 
the political world to make up for it. I think your iEra 
begun (or y e writing of my letter happened) with the 
Independance of America. You may now begin another 
iEra when you receive this, as the date is equally impor- 
tant; for we received certain accounts (it is said) that 
the whole British army was cut off in a late general action 
at Princetown. I dare not say that I am so much of an 
infidel as to dissent from the prevailing & almost universal 
opinion, for I dined with a gentleman yesterday (a gentle- 
man of repute) who undertook to prove that a Tory could 
not be saved. He laid down his data from the American 
Crisis* — "That every Tory must be a coward, because 
it implied a slavish fear in the very idea." Hence he 

* The first number of Paine's American Crisis was published in January, 1777. — Eds. 


drew his conclusion y fc if he was a coward he could not 
be saved, for the Scripture asserted that the " fearful & 
unbelieving should never inherit Eternal Life." 

Inter nos. I may say that I require almost the same 
evidence of our warlike atchievements as Thomas wanted 
for y e truth of what his brother disciples asserted. Little 
less than y e evidence of my own senses will persuade me 
to believe the daily reports w h are current among all 
orders of people, and which, as fast as the succession of 
moments, cause them to wear the face of joy & knit the 
brow of sorrow. Hence you will be led to think that I 
believe very little of what has passed since the evacua- 
tion of Boston. I can assure you your sentiments will 
be very just; and in excuse for my own unbelief, I will 
say I have never seen any certain account of any affair 
since M r Howe first landed on Long Island. But we have 
been left to gain our knowledge intirely from the private 
letters of partisans, or the more tainted medium of the 
public prints. 

What think # you of the consequence of Independance? 
Last winter great bets were laid that France would openly 
assist the United States in less than three months after 
the Declaration, that they would send a large fleet and 
army immediate^ upon their hearing of it. What are 
our prospects ? Have we any assurance of their assist- 
ance ? I have conversed with all orders of men, & been 
particularly earnest in my enquiries after the situation of 
the powers of Europe. I have been very ambitious of 
obtaining the views of the Congress, & whether they had 
any certain expectation of assistance from France, as well 
as what were their sentiments at present. But the result 
of all my enquiries is, that the same hackneyed, common- 
place opinion of the natural enmity between France & 
Britain prevailed among the members of the Grand Coun- 
cil of America, " Revenge must actuate the French to hos- 
tilities against Britain, & it is their interest that America 

1777.] JOHN ELIOT. 101 

should be independent." I heard M r Pain (Ruthy's ami- 
able & peculiar friend) harangue for hours upon the 
. probability, yea certainty, of the event, from these causes. 
And I had the pleasure some time ago of spending an 
evening with M r John Adams, who gave this ground for 
his opinion, with this addition as a confirmation of his 
hopes, that the present Minister of France was a person 
who delighted in war. 

If I give my own little opinion, your candor will put a 
gloss over the absurdity, & my sentiments, tho' wrong, 
will rest secure under the shadow of the wings of friend- 
ship. If there were no better prospects of a revolution 

in our favor, I must think it a very wicked affair. 

Every end which can be now answered by the Declara- 
tion of Independance could have been answered in our 
former situation, except foreign assistance in an open 
manner. I say openly, because the underhand trade 
with us was carried on as profitably then as now. And 
there ariseth this difficulty from the Declaration, that 
matters can no way be accommodated. Perhaps after 
many efforts of bravery America might have brought 
them to a very advantageous accommodation, & possessed 

all the advantages of independance, except the 

name. But this solemn contempt of y r friendship & 
power will rather have a tendency to make them despair 
& determine them upon distressing us at the risk of their 
own destruction. Such has been the obstinacy of man- 
kind in all ages. I have been in company with Colonel 
Campbell, a prisoner at Reading, a member of Parliament 
& a gentleman of large interest, who gave it as his opinion 
that the matter of independency was the greatest gratifi- 
cation to Lord North, & that it would have been happy 
for England if we had declared it 6 months before. The 
minority in the House of Parliament greatly retarded 
all their operations, & their favorite argument was that we 
never designed independance, & he said this convincing 


proof of the bent of all our proceedings would confirm 
the good opinion of the Ministry with the people of 
England, & unite them against us. At some future op- 
portunity I will give a particular character of this gen- 
tleman, & relate the conversation there was between us. 
We shall have frequent occasion to write upon this 
matter of independancy ; but before I leave it at this 
time, you will suffer me again to manifest the weakness 
of my judgment in giving an opinion of the situation of 
France with respect to America, or rather of the part 
the French will act in the present contest. Is Britain a 
natural enemy of France ? Grant it ; but is it the island 
or nation against which France will show her resentment? 
They would not fight against an inanimate piece of earth. 
And if they wreak their anger upon the nation, why 
should we not suffer who are colonies of G. B. & have 
done our part to cramp the power [of] France, as well as 
those of the parent state ? If it is a natural enmity, why 
will it not affect America as well as Britain ? It rather 
appears to me she will manifest her enmity by assisting 
each party so far as will weaken & destroy the other. I 
know it is unpopular to use the term Colony, as this im- 
plies that we originated from that land which is now the 
land of oppression, the nursery of tyrants, & sink of 
iniquity. We must not use any term w h will bring to 
remembrance the idea of emigration, but view ourselves 
to be self-existent as well as independant. But it is for the 
interest of France, they say, that G B. & the Colonies 
should be separated. This I likewise allow to be true, as 
well as that she would find it to be her interest more to 
assist America than Britain. But the histories of all 
nations convince me that ministers of state do not always 
act for the interest of their country. They have their 
own selfish designs to answer, & they make everything 
subservient to their own interest. Had the interest of 
Great Britain been properly regarded, America would 

1777.] JOHN ELIOT. 103 

never have had cause for complaint. But, as saith the au- 
thor of the Political Disquisitions,* we have seen the same 
system of corruption maintained " in the administration 
of a Walpole, a Greenville, a Bute, a Rockingham, a Pitt, 
& a North," & 'tis only from the nation itself that we can 
expect a regard to be shewn to the national interest. A 
British Minister may bribe a favorite mistress of the Min- 
ister of France, & we shall find that, however fond he may 
be of war, he will prefer his repose in the lap of his Delilah 
to the warlike atchievements he might gain by assisting 
America, & the nation would not wake him from his slum- 
bers till the fate of America is decided. This by the by. 
From the situation of the country I will turn your 
attention particularly to the town of Boston. It is a rare 
thing to meet with any body here without some lofty titles 
to declare their merit, — Colonel A., Major B., Captain C, 
denominates every puppy that " bays the moon." I only 
want leisure to write an essay upon the times. A mod- 
erate genius might find such a fund of matter, serious or 
humourous, to transmit to future ages as must raise their 
admiration. Of the very small part who are undistin- 
guished by military habiliments, you can find none who 
do not think themselves somehow above their neighbors. 
To suppose a person a mechanic is an affront. Everyone 
belongs to some Committee of Correspondence, or Safety, 
or Supply, or else holds a seat under some gentlemen who 
fill these important places, & therefore must be treated 
with such complaisance that we must learn all the twist- 
ings of the body which is necessary for a valet de chamhre 
before we can receive a token of cognisance. We are all 
obliged to go barefoot & ragged, for you may as well fish 
for pearls in Oyster River, or look for the planet Venus 
at midday, as seek for such creatures in Boston as a 

* James Burgh, a Scotchman, born in the latter pirt of 1714, died in August. 1775. He 
published "Political Disquisitions, or Enquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses," 
London, 1774-75, 3 vols., 8vo. The work was left unfinished at his death. — Eds. 


taylor or shoemaker. Somebody asked M r Otis the other 
day his opinion of the present measures & leaders, & he 
dismissed them with this laconic answer : " When the pot 
boils, the scum will arise." If he had his senses acute as 
ever, he could, not have made a better speech, or mixed 
so much sentiment with so few words. It is said of Swift 
that his smartest stroke of wit was after he was a fool. 

With regard to myself, I have the happyness to inform 
you that I have my health much better than I had before 
I visited your region of salubrity. I continue to preach 
at an obscure parish in Dedham, tho' I have been invited 
to supply several churches in Boston.* The reason of 
my not preaching in Boston is, that my first invitation 
was at D r Byles, & I could not come with honor if I 
preached in town. You have heard the whole affair, 
doubtless, of D r Byles dismission. (If you have not I 
have no room to insert it now.) They made the first 
application to me to supply the pulpit ; & as y e preaching 
there is attended with many disadvantages (the ministers 
of Boston refuse to make any exchange with y e person 
who preaches there) I declined. 

I heartily sympathize with you on the death of your 
sister, & am persuaded she is much more happy in heaven 
than she would be on earth. t Give my love to Ruthy. 
My papa & mama desire me to present theirs. We are 
all well. Adieu. 


Rev d M r Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, March 19, 1777. 

My dear Sir, — Don't think hardly of me if I do not 
write. It is not want [of] affection which is the cause 

* The parish referred to was the Third Parish in Dedham, sometimes called the Clap- 
boardtrees Parish, now. the Unitarian Society in West Dedham. (See the next letter; 
Worthlngton's History of Dedham, p. 50; Dedham Hist. Po^ister, vol. i. p. 18.) — Eds. 

t Mrs. Belknap's sister, Elizabeth, died unmarried, Jan. 4, 1777. — Eds. 

1777.] JOHN ELIOT. 105 

of my negligence. I am always determining to write, 
always writing, & yet never write. If I am beforehand 
of an opportunity, it never arrives. Those to you & 
M r Wentworth have been at Cousin Sams months to- 
gether, & no person has been in who was going to Dover. 
Let me determine again that I will not be so negligent. 
Believe once more. 

You[r] family, I suppose, is increased, — another little 
Angelina. I wish it may afford you much happyness. 
Your brother's child is a pretty little sprightly creature, 
the joy, but more the affliction, of its parents. Your 
brother has more command of himself & less anxiety, to 
appearance, than M rs E., who is constantly uneasy, always 
in fear lest something ails it, or will ail it some time or 
other. I don't much wonder at this, their unreason- 
able agitation of mind. I often think of what Ruthy 
said when she heard M rs E. was like to have another 
child, — " She was heartily sorry." You can't conceive 
the misery which they seemed to be, which they were in, 
the last week because Fanny was sick. She was poorly, 
but had it been on the brink of the other world, irre- 
coverably lost, it could not have excited greater emotion. 
Was it to die, it would be to me, thro' the strength of my 
friendship & love, like losing my own right eye. With 
great pleasure I can tell you it is much better. 

Perhaps you wonder I have not been at Dover. I like 
to have been there last week. If the riding had not been 
bad beyond description I should have been at the ordina- 
tion of M r Shaw, & half my desire to be there was that I 
might make an excursion to your house, & have given 
you a Sabbath day's rest. I think when I saw you 
last I was preaching at Clapboard trees in Dedham. 
I continued there till within this month, & found my- 
self exceeding the bounds of my ability. Making two 
sermons a week, riding there every Saturday thro' snow, 
rain, &c, & then preaching on the next day made my 


health flag, my spirits fail, unfitted me for the pleasures 
of study, & took away all taste for amusement. In a 
word, it made me hippochondriac. I therefore took the 
advice which my judgment gave me in a very friendly 
manner, to come away. At present 1 am preaching at D r 
Chauncy's. He gives me ten pounds for half the day, 
which I should esteem as more than the equivalent to 
twenty for the whole, if the other ministers of the town 
would suffer me to sit still; but this don't tally with their 
inclination, & I have therefore engaged to supply the 
New South. And whom do you think I succeed ? Tom 
Thatcher, — yes, Tom, I assure you. Tom, I believe, is 
more serious & clever than he was, but he is a queer, out 
of the way, original creature. He aims to be elegant 
in his compositions, & he don't want for imagination, but 
is too flowery & too apt to indulge poetical expression in 
his prayer. D r Byles's church is supplied by M r Brad- 
ford, a young gentleman, a friend of mine, a new be- 
ginner. The Doctor struts about town in the luxuriance 
of bis self-sufficiency, looking as if he despised all man- 
kind. He never attends any meeting. How he doth for 
a maintenance, nobody knows besides him, & the only 
account he can give is, " That he doubles & trebles his money T 
He is a virulent Tory, & destitute of all prudence. Be- 
fore I leave him, I will give you one more effort of his 
genius in y e punning way. He observed D r Cooper to go 
by his house often, & one day meeting him, D r C, says 
he, you treat me just like a baby. I hardly take you, 
Sir, said y e Doctor. Why, you go by, by, by. 

Notwithstanding I despise D r Byles as much as man 
can hold another in contempt, yet I think y e proceedings 
of that church with him were irregular & unwarrantable, 
& hath held up a precedent for a practise that will cause 
y e ruin of our ecclesiastical constitution, weaken y e hands 
of y e ministry, & lay such discouragement before candi- 
dates as will prevent their settling, & in few years the 

1777.] JOHN ELIOT. 107 

harvest must be almost destitute of labourers.* When 
the church at Bolton made this innovation D r Chauncy 
was so angry that he would have refused holding com- 
munion with the members; yet he now justifies & was 
the cause of this church at Boston proceeding in the 
way they have done. He says, u Byles is not fit for a 
preacher." So sa[y I], but I would have had a Council, 
& I am certain any Council w[ould] have given him his 

Last Lord's clay was the anniversary of the evacuation 
of the town. The ministers preached upon the occasion, 
& were popular. We are in a precarious situation. My 
father expects another visit from M r Howe, & is sending 
his furniture (what he can spare) into the country. My 
brother at Fairfield is worse off still. He is in the center 
of danger. Several times the troops have attempted to 
land near his house. The Sound is lined with ships that 
are firing continually upon y e town. The women & 
children have moved off, & for several weeks past the 
men have attended meeting armed cap-a-pee. Dire are 
the calamities of war. When shall we see returning 
peace ? There is nothing new that I can send you at 
present. We are all well. We wish well to you. My 
love to Ruthy & the children. Has any light penetrated 
the chinks of y e dark cottage lately ? Adieu. 

* The Rev. Dr. Mather Byles, minister of the Hollis Street Church, had made himself 
very obnoxious to his church and congregation by his avowed sympathy with the adherents 
to the Crown; and on the 9th of August, 1776, a meeting was held in the meeting-house to 
consider the charges against him on this account, to which the church records say he gave 
" such answers as he tho't proper." Thereupon it was determined to give him a summary 
dismissal without calling an Ecclesiastical Council, and the next week a vote was passed 
.that " The Rev d Dr. Mather Byles, having by his conduct put an end to his usefulness as 
a publick preacher amongst us, be and hereby is dismissed from his pastoral charge." (See 
Chaney's Hollis Street Church, from Mather Byles to Thomas Starr King, p. 9.) — Eds. 



General Sullivan presents his most respectful com- 
pliments to the Rev"! JVIT Belknap ; most sincerely thanks 
him for his friendly wishes & good opinion ; will see the 
letter delivered agreable to M r Belknap's request. 

Would think himself highly honoured by a visit from 
M r Belknap & lady before his departure, if their business 
& health will admit. 

Fryday, April 4 th , 1777. 


Boston, May 9 th , 1777. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — Of all my correspondents I like 
you the best, as there is more of a mixture of the utile 
dulci in your letters than in any one's else. (By the way, 
I would just relate a little anecdote of this motto. I may 
forget it, if I don't mention it now. Our Court employed 
a number of gentlemen to make a new emission of money, 
and they agreed to take this motto, — Omne tulit punctum 
qui utile dulci. Their chairman in writing it down made 
two mistakes w ch none were able to correct, & which were 
not corrected till so much money had been struck off 
that it cost the State several hundreds Lawful to pay the 
printer. Clean loss somewhere.) You write with great 
ease & familiarity; you love Yorick, are liberal in your 
sentiments, & have ever been particular in your friend- 
ship towards me. It is no fault that so few letters have 
passed between us the year agone ; for many letters of 
mine (which } t ou would have answered), tho' written, 
have never reached you. To mention particularly one 

* General Sullivan (born at Berwick, Me., Feb. 17, 1740, died at Durham, Jan. 23, 1795) 
was about to return to the army when this note was written. There are numerous letters 
from him to Mr, Belknap; and he was much interested in procuring some public recog- 
nition of Mr Belknap's labors as an historian. — Eds. 

1777.] JOHN ELIOT, 109 

instance : a packett containing a letter to you & one to 
M r Wentworth is now, & has lain in your brother's drawer 
near four months. I wish opportunities were more im- 
mediate. 'Tis true I could send to Portsmouth often, but 
it then remains uncertain whether you will ever receive 
them. John Clarke is a careless case, (which w T ith my 
compliments you may tell him, if you please,) & perhaps 
they would not even get to him. 

tempora, mores, is at present the universal cant. 
Paul Revere haranguing in town meeting, the command- 
ant of every particular company, the gentleman in his 
domestic circle, & every drabbling dish clout politician, 
however various their opinions, have all some kind of 
observation to make upon the times. All think we are 
tending & hastening to ruin because ma[n]y things hap- 
pen contrary [to] the view of each party or the designs 
of each individual. But while all are complaining & ex- 
ternally contriving measures to remedy the evil, each one 
blaming his neighbour for his extortion, or wreaking his 
vengeance upon him as a Tory, none are tracing the pol- 
luted streams to their fountain, or considering that there 
is a, fountain from whence issues this corruption which has 
so deeply stained the land. Would each one look into 
his own heart, & reflect how much he has contributed to 
involve his country in calamity, it would be a more 
effectual mean of extricating us from our difficulties than 
surveying the faults of our neighbours & backbiting one 
another, or brooding over the evils of the day without 
reflecting on what we have done amiss with ingenuous 
sorrow & full determination of amendment. Was you 
at Boston, my dear Sir, you would be affected with the 
calamitous moan of every individual, while you would be 
struck with indignation at our behaviour. We often hear 
excellent discourses on patriotism & on the moral virtues, 
which are as the morning cloud & early dew. Well, says 
one to the other, it is all true; dreadful times ; something 


must be done ; what shall we do? Here it ends. Patriot- 
ism is constantly painted in the most elegant colours, as a 
child of Heaven whom most nations have cast out as a 
deformed bantling, unworthy their protection, but whom 
the Genius of America has nourished at her breast, fos- 
tered & supported, & who has spread a spirit of liberality 
& benevolence thro'out this land, — the blessed effects 
of this Liberty, we are told, that we daily experience. 
Could a stranger form an opinion from our present be- 
haviour, what his sentiments would be I will only venture 
to guess. But I mean not to indulge myself in reflec- 
tion on persons & things like a disappointed partizan, lest 
you should think the same of me as I do of some other 
folks. Besides, there are so many things now agitating 
in the political world, that it would be more agreable to 
you, without doubt, to be informed of facts, than to have 
any opinion of things past, or to hear any complaint of 
things present. 

The first affair that has happen'd since I wrote my 
last was the exhibition of Josie, Jun r , at the head of a 
mob carting a number of Tories out of town. I believe 
this was not mentioned in the paper, tho' he often puts 
in his blustering threats, & you doubtless have heard 
strange & large accounts about the matter. It seems 
there was a plan laid to send these gentlemen (Mess" 
Sargeant, Cary, Jackson, Perkins, Green, &c.) out of town, 
either by the Committee of , or some [of] its mem- 
bers unbeknown to the others. Most of the persons in 
the cart were justly obnoxious. M r Sargeant in particu- 
lar, by his affectation of Toryism, has alternately filled 
the minds of people with indignation & contempt; but 
the inoffensive carriage of M r Perkins raised up a spirit 
of tenderness & compassion so great, that every person of 
any character was ashamed to own himself approving of 
the matter. Let the persons be what they may, I cannot 
but think every rational man will condemn the proceed- 

1777.] JOHN ELIOT. HI 

ing. Have these men done amiss, the law is open. If 
there is not power eno' lodged in our General Court to 
take hold of the enemies of the country, it is a pity the 
Court has a being. If we are in a state of anarchy, let 
us not have the credit or be at the expense of maintain- 
ing a Legislature. 

People are refreshed with resentment against the Tories 
since the unhappy maneuvre at Danbury. It seems they 
were led on by these vermin, & assisted by them to de- 
stroy the stores. I have heard before that there were 
many of this kidney in the western part of Connecticut, 
& they have done much mischief to the State. Such per- 
sons I cannot but think deserve death, even of the most 
ignominious kind. To stab the vitals of our country is a 
crime beyond a name. A regicide is innocent in com- 
parison, for he only kills a man ; but the destroyer of his 
country is the murderer of a people. But let every man 
stand his tryal. Because a knot of villains have done 
much mischief in the State of Connecticut, it is not right 
the people should suffer in Boston. Nevertheless the 
poor Tories of Boston must do penance for what is done 
by their nominal brethren in Connecticut. If any per- 
sons are found guilty of evil doings, let them be punished 
to the rigor of the law, but let no person on meer ground 
of suspicion. Every art is contrived to inflame the minds 
of people, to set the town in a ferment, & cause people 
to vent their rage on these poor unhappy men. It is said 
the engines have been stopped up or rendered useless, & 
that dark lanthorns were seen neer the magazine, & yes- 
terday morning (before town meeting, w T hich was to con- 
sider of the best methods of dealing with them) it was 
declared 14 Tories had been taken in the act of burning 
the town, — all without foundation. If the Tories are to 
be destroyed, who is to draw the line between Whig & 
Tory ? In this town, the most respectable triumvirate, — 
Thomas Crafts, Paul Revere, Harbottle Dorr. The like 


jewels are not so precious, I suppose, but they may be 
found all over the Province. 

As to domestic affairs, I have more to say than I shall 
be able to write. My father has bought a house & farm 
at Concord, & yesterday we sent out the best of our fur- 
niture. "We somewhat expect my brother's family down, 
& it would serve conveniently for them if we should not 
have occasion for it ourselves. People in Boston are buy- 
ing places in the country. We are much alarmed, and 
expect another attack, — at least we mean to prepare for 
the worst. Poor Andrew has been in a shocking situa- 
tion. They landed about 5 miles from his house, & they 
were all called out in the night to make their escape. 
One of his principal parishioner[s] w T as killed instantane- 
ously, & he writes word of a great quantity of stores 
were lost. The newspaper makes it, as common, trifling 
in comparison with the reality. Alia sunt mutta, sednon est 
dicer e tempus. 

As to myself, I am here in my study writing ; had it 
not been for an unlucky incident, I should be now in your 
cockloft. I want much to be there, & was to set off last 
Monday fortnight. Being disengaged, I fully expected 
to come. But there came a Bootman from Littleton com- 
plaining bitterly of their distressed circumstances. They 
had been 6 or 7 Sabbaths without a preacher, k could 
not get one to come before six weeks more. He said so 
much that M r Bradford & I agreed to supply the six en- 
suing Sabbaths from that time. Two of mine are now 
past, & I have only one to go ; & if I possibly can get a 
horse, I will come to see you & spend a quarter part of 
the time you desire. 

You are a set of pretty fellows in your State to coun- 
terfeit money. It has made more mischief than a little 
here. Everyone is suspected, & nobody is trusted that 
comes from New Hampshire. It was reported here at 
first that a parson was concerned in the business. I am 

1777.] JOHN ELIOT. 113 

glad there was no foundation for the report. I met with 
an old sea-captain that gave me the first account of it. 
He said there were eight concerned in the business, — a 
parson, a lawyer, a doctor, a printer, a merchant, a wo- 
man, — there's six, says he, & the devil makes a seventh, 
& I don't know who makes eight, & so I e'en put in a 
sailor to make the company compleat. You must call in 
all your money & make a new emission, or we will have 
nothing to do with you. Tell Ruthy I congratulate her 
on her little John. # How is little Angelena, and the rest 
of the children ? I am heartily glad you like Yorick, & 
resemble him so much in your style. Your observations 
are just concerning, — I only want any person to read 
him twice, & if they are filled with humanity, & have 
generous dispositions, I defy them to help liking him. 
Adieu. Love to all concerned. 


Rev d M r Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, May 20 T 1777. 

Rev d and dear Sir, — I fear you will lose time in read- 
ing so many letters as you will receive from me by your 
father, but I think not to neglect so good an opportunity 
& will therefore begin another. M r Eliot desired me to 
give you a particular account of my brother Andrew, & 
as I have some letters by me, I will send an extract or 
two which will afford you an idea of his situation. 

" We are in the midst of evils arising not only from the 
rout of the enemy, some of whom (I hope the number is 
small) are so lost to every sentiment of religion & human- 
ity that they plundered the houses of those who have 
stood foremost in the American cause. I find it true that 

* Mr. Belknap's son. John, was born Dec. 30. 1776, baptized Jan. 5, 1777, and died 
Feb. 8, 1856. He was a little more than four months old at the date of this letter. — Eds. 


y e B. troops did little or no damage to houses that were 
inhabited, but that they professedly sacked every one 
that was evacuated, carrying off or destroying what they 
could. There are various accounts of their cruelty to 
several persons ; but none that I can depend upon. Some 
I find to be false." 

" I was at Fairfield the whole of the time the enemy 
was on shore, except the time of the removal of my 
effects, &c. I had but one feather-bed left. I lodged 
on that with two blankets ; at last I sent away my blan- 
kets. A man dangerously wounded was bro't to my 
house. I resigned to him my last bed & slept on a sack- 
ing with a borrowed coverlid & some old cloaths. As to 
eating & drinking, I did as I could, &c." 

u The troops had marched almost to Danbury before 
the inhabitants knew their destination. They were mus- 
tering & coming down to the assistance of Fairfield. 
Col. Cooke had about 170 militia, & Colonel Huntington 
100 Continental troops. When the news was related by 
a transient person it was not believed, & upon recon- 
noitring the enemy it was found impracticable to attack 
them only upon their retreat." " Soon after the troops 
entered the town they went upon business & destroyed 
the provision & store houses. Part of the medicines were 
saved. The streets were flowing with fat & brine the 
next day over a man's shoes. Major Starr's house was 
burnt, & every place w[h]ere there were Continental 
stores. The Major fell from his horse before the destruc- 
tion, fractured his skull, & died the next day, a valuable 
man, &c. Never was expedition better concerted, & car- 
ried on with more regularity, than it was by the British 
troops & the Provincials accompanying them." 

"Lieut. Col. Gold was bro't home to Fairfield & buried 
with the honors of war. D r Rogers of New York prayed, 
& I preached." This letter of my brother's was dated 
May 2 d . It seems from his letters that all expected Dan- 

1777.] JOHN ELIOT. 115 


bury would be attacked, & yet were so foolish as to let 
the stores remain there. But the reason why they were 
not prepared to receive them better was that they ex- 
pected them the other way, supposing they would land 
from the North River. And when they landed at Fair- 
field every one expected that they meant to surround & 
take possession of that town. From his letter of April 29 
I will take an extract that you may see how everything 
concurred to make his situation distressing. 

" On Sabbath after meeting there was a most shocking 
alarm. A Continental regiment came into town dressed 
in British uniform which had been taken in the prizes. 
Upon the sight of them our people imagined they were 
the British troops. The alarm was given. Men flew to 
arms. The women that remained run about like dis- 
tracted creatures. My ears were pierced with the cry, 
'Pray, Sir, help; what shall I do?' I tho't it was a 
second party landed from the ships, & expected them 
instantly. We were soon rid of our apprehensions." 

Within this hour we have received another letter from 
my brother, entirely of a domestic nature. He mentions 
that he will be here next week, but says he shall not bring 
his family. 

We had Saturday a town meeting about the Tories. 
You have seen the act. No sooner had they got together 
than Colonel Crafts made a motion to know the minds of 
the people whether they would abide by the act, or think 
of some more effectual way of expelling the Tories. Jo. 
Greenleaf opposed him, & said it was, in plain English, 
whether we should mind the authority of the General 
Court; and it was asked this sage military [com]mander 
whether he meant this, or what he did mean. He sa[id 
he] did not mean whether we should set aside the act ; but 
[whether] we should abide by it. He was seconded by 
the great Paul Revere. These are the two first speakers 
at town meeting, & they were assisted by a noted Colonel 


Sears from New York & John Winthrop. The motion 
was opposed by Jo. Barrell, one of the best speakers on 
the occasion, M r Inches, Ellis Gray, Jo. Greenleaf, Major 
Dawes, M r Hitchbourne. The D rs Lloyd, Danforth, Rand, 
Whitworth, & Kast are among the Tories. D r Byles 
likewise. Sam Parker was about being put up when the 
meeting was adjourned. It got to be just as the affair of 
the witches at Salem, — every one naming his neighbor, 
& the moderator put an end to the meeting. Most mod- 
erate men were put up, & I heard one of these say, who 
is a member of the House, that [he] had determined to 
nominate Crafts & Revere, & prove them enemies to y r 
country by their opposition to the General Court, from 
whom they held y r military commissions. 

Remember me to Ruthy. 

Yrs., J. Eliot. 


To the Hon 1 ? Thomas Cvshing, Esq., One of the Council of the Massa- 
chusetts State, Bodon. BFree Franklin. 


Paris, May 1, 1777. 

Sir, — I thank you for your kind congratulations on 
my arrival, and shall be happy in finding that our nego- 
tiations on this side the water are of effectual service to 
our country. 

The general news here is, that all Europe is arming 
and preparing for war, as if it were soon expected. 
Many of the powers, however, have their reasons for 
endeavouring to postpone it, at least a few months 

* The first part of this letter, dated May 1, 1777. is printed in Mr. Sparks'* edition of 
the Works of Benjamin Franklin (vol. viii. p. 216); but the panerraph relating to the 
privateers is omitted by him, and he does not give the letter of May 27. — Eds. 


Our enemies will not be able to send against us all the 
strength they intended : they can procure but few Ger- 
mans ; and their recruiting & impressing at home goes 
on but heavily. They threaten, however, & give out that 
Lord Howe is to bombard Boston this summer, & Bur- 
goyne, with the troops from Canada, to destroy Provi- 
dence and lay waste Connecticut, while Howe marches 
against Philadelphia. They will do us undoubtedly as 
much mischief as they can. But the virtue and bravery 
of our countrymen will, with the blessing of God, pre- 
vent part of what they intend, and nobly bear the rest. 
This campaign is entered upon with a mixture of rage & 
despair, as their whole scheme of reducing us depends 
upon its success ; the wisest of the nation being clear, 
that, if this fails, Administration will not be able to sup- 
port another. 

We just now hear from Port L'Orient that a privateer 
from Boston, the brig Rising States, Capt. Thomson, has 
sent in a prize there laden w th fruit and wine from Lisbon 
to London, being the third she had taken ; and M r Green- 
wood, a painter, formerly of Boston, who was here a few 
days since and returned to London, writes from Dover 
that he saw landed there 8 captains and their mates out 
of a Dutch homeward bound ship, which had been put 
on board her in the Channel by an American privateer, 
who had taken their several ships, and burnt two of them. 
We do not hear the privateer's name. 

With the greatest respect, I have the honour to be, Sir, 
Your most obedient humble servant, 

B. Franklin. 

M r . Gushing. 

Paris, May 27, 1777. 

Sir, — The above went by Capt. Adams. Since which 
I received your favour by your son, who appears an 
amiable sensible young man. I have advis'd his staying 


a few months in France to acquire the language, which, 
as we are likely to have more connection & commerce 
with this nation than formerly, may be of considerable 
use to him. He returns to Nantes with M r Williams, 
who will take care of him there, & introduce him to the 
acquaintance of the mercantile people. He has recom- 
mended himself by his prudent behaviour here to al] 
[who] know him, and I congratulate you on the prospecl 
of [what?] such a son may afford you in your old age. 

The privateer mention'd in my former was the Free- 
dom. She took 12 prizes in coming to France. They 
are so alarm'd in England by some late captures thai 
insurance between them & this continent is higher than 
at any time in the last war. 

With great esteem, I am, Sir, 

Your most obedient humble servant, 

B. Franklin. 

M r Newman did not come from Nantes. 


Rev d Mr, Belknap, Dover. Per favor M r Barrett. 

Boston, June 12, 1777, 

Rev d & dear Sik, — M rs Eliot told me yesterday II 
Barrell was about setting off for Dover ; but as I under- 
stood her immediately, I concluded it would afford me no 
opportunity of answering your very agreable letter I re- 
ceived the night before. 1 have just received a message 
from M r E. that M r B. will not go till to-morrow morning, 
& that I must prepare a letter which he will send for at 
nine o'clock. It is now evening, & I have therefore time 
only to mention the pleasing sensations I received from 
your ingenious remarks in the prophetical way, as well as 
the many other agreable things in your letter, which 
have been perused the " 2 d , 3 d , & 4 th time." I shall say 

1777.] JOHN ELIOT. 119 

something of the hobby horse in my next. At present, 
I am glad your old red nag is disposed of. A plague to 
you & all the neighbours he was ; is he still alive ? How- 
doth Father Merriam do now with his skeleton wife? I 
remember riding over on your right amiable beast to his 
house to the no small detriment of my nether face. How 
is it with the soul's dark cottage? Doth it decay or 
flourish? Is the air of Durham as "balsamic" as it was 
formerly ? 

Colonel Holland, I suppose you know his fate. I wish 
every money maker was well secured. They are [a] set 
of base fellows, & have done more injury to the commu- 
nity than any men among us. No wonder goods are at 
such a price in Boston shops when these fellows would 
offer such sums as was a temptation to increase in their 
demands. Shannon came to Boston the week before he 
was taken, & made two honest merchants] each £100 
poorer by leaving that money counterfeit with them for 
articles procured. But is Major Richardson one of the 
scoundrels ? By the way, — is there any Colonel Waldron 
belonging to Dover who has lately married a daughter 
of old Deacon Wynne of Woburn ? I know of none of 
the name but Uncle Toby, the old Captain ; and if his 
jewel is dead, why did you never mention it ? This affair 
was spoken of in company the other day, & I was thought 
to know very little of the town of Dover, being a stranger 
to such a piece of connubiality. 

News — nothing particular. No town meetings lately. 

My brother Andrew has been down this fortnight 
past, — is now returned. 

Love to your uxor & all the homimculi k mulierculi. 
Yrs. affectionately, 

J. Eliot. 



Boston, June 17, 1777. 

Dear Sir, — M r Eliot has this moment sent me a letter 
he received thro' D r G. & desires me to dine there to-day. 
It is now twelve o'clock, but lest D r G. shall go out of 
town this afternoon, I throw aside my sermon half fin- 
ished (there is nothing very great in it), & send you a 
few lines, which if it has no other effect may serve to 
convince you of my very great regard & the very partic- 
ular attention I desire to pay to you. Believe me to be 
sincere, & at the same [time ?] unaiming at the elocution 
of our cousin Sam, when I say, that your last letter laid 
me under obligations so great as fifty of mine would not 
make me independant. If they were weighed in the 
balance, they would be found wanting. Lest I should 
not have time to take notice of many particulars, I will 
leave the whole till after dinners, & mention a few inci- 
dents relating to our domestic situation, the state of the 
town, land, &c, &c. I know that such minutise are often- 
times agreable, as we love to be acquainted with the 
welfare & even the adversity of our friends, & that noth- 
ing resembles a personal conversation as the particular 
mention of little occurrences. To begin then with the 
family. My brother Sammy has been very ill, visited 
with a high fever, his situation alarming, but thro' a kind 
Providence is now on the recovery. Too great an appli- 
cation to business rendered him unfit for any kind of 
business, & by a calculation in y e rule of profit & loss, I 
believe y e perquisites may be reduced so low as to mani- 
fest that mediocrity in all things is better than extremes; 
and that Horace was truly sentimental when he said, 
Est modus, &c, as well as Wil Lilly just in the less hack- 
neyed phraise of his more hackneyed grammar, Medium 
est virtus quod tcmrisse, &c. It happened unlucky for my 
brother that as ai^ent for Connecticut he had the care of 

1777.] JOHN ELIOT. 121 

4 prizes, which came into ports E., W., N., S., & kept him 
in continual agitation, which was very unpleasant to his 
pinguid corpus, & has obliged him to expose no small part 
of it. 

Siah is now gone to Dartmouth. " Mungo here, Mungo 
there, Mungo blustering everywhere." 

Andrew has been down. I wish you could have seen 
him. He is a little curled pate object, with the top of 
his head almost bald. He has suffered considerable hard- 
ship, tho' not to the loss of his flesh ; for it would make 
your belly blush only to stand at the side of him. 

As to the girls, they remain in statu quo. Some of 
them have no prospect of being releived from the afflict- 
ive circumstances, or rather that pain of mind, incident 
to a state of celibacy. There is a red-headed chap, Agrestic 
Fame says, is coaxing up Betsy at Milton,* & a young 
fellow by the name of Squire comes to the house to see 
Sally.t ' 

My father & mother are well, as also his Excellency, 
myself. I supply D r Chauncy's pulpit for the present. 
My friend M r Bradford is at Concord, & we preach alter- 
nately in each place. M r Stephens $ & I talk of an ex- 
change within these few weeks. If it takes place, you 
will see me at Dover soon. If I should be disappointed 
in this affair, I don't know when that pleasure will be 
permitted me. I must now go to dinner. 

P. M. M r Cooper is gone out of town, & I have not 
seen D r Green. M r C. tells me he shall be at Cambridge, 
& I '11 continue writing in hopes of an opportunity to 
send the letter to him. 

Next to family affairs come the town. And here what 
shall I say ? First, negatively. Nothing about meetings. 

* Elizabeth, oldest daughter of Rev, Dr. Andrew Eliot, died unmarried. (See note, 
post, p. 207.)— Eds. 

f Sarah, eighth child and fourth daughter of Rev. Dr. Andrew Eliot, married Joseph 
Squire. (See note, past, p. 133.) — Eds. 

% Perhaps Rev. Benjamin Stevens, D. D., of Kittery. — Eds. 


We have had none since we condemned the Tories. Sec- 
ondly & positively. I will acquaint a little about our 
Bostonian court. The first called to the bar was the mag- 
nificent Doctor.* He had on his large Whig, long band, a 
black coat, &c. He appeared without counsel, and upon 
the nomination of the jury he objected to one Fallas, com- 
monly called Fellows, because he said he would not be 
tried by fellows. The evidence was much more in favor 
of him than against him. All that could be proved was 
that he is a silly, impertinent, childish person; I should 
say inconsistent, if his whole conduct did not manifest 
him to be one consistent lump of absurdity. When he 
was going out of court, he observed that the ceiling was 
very high, & he could not discern, but asked if none of 
them discovered a star. It was to the very great sur- 
prise of every one present, as well as to the whole town, 
that he should be bro't in guilty. His general character 
has been so despicable that he seems to have no friends 
to pity him, tho all allow upon such evidence he o't 
not to be condemned. The women all proclaim a judg- 
ment from Heaven as a punishment for his ill treatment 
of his wives. Vengeance has at length overtaken him, 
they say, & his present sufferings will now bring him to re- 
flection, & he will now find that a Righteous Being taketh 
notice of all unrighteousness among men, & at proper 
times humbles the most haughty & self-sufficient. The 
Doctor is still confined to his house, deprived of visitors, 
to be removed at the pleasure of the Board of War. 
How are the mighty fallen ! 

* Rev. Dr. Mather Byles. "At the special Sessions of the Peace, held here on Monday- 
last," says the Boston Gazette of June 9, 1777, "came on the trial of Mather Byles, late 
minister of the Gospel in this town, charged with being an enemy to the United S'ates; 
when, after a fair and candid examination of evidence, the jury returned their verdict, that 
he, Mather Byles, is, and has been since the 19th of April, 1775, inimically disposed towards 
this and the other United States, and that his residence in this State is dangerous to the 
public peace and safety. lie was then delivered into the custody of a proper officer, who 
conducted him to the Honorable the Board of War, there to be dealt with agreeable to a 
late act of this State, for such persons made and provided. And on Saturday last, one 
Edward Wentworth, of this town, had his trial, and was brought in guilty. Between 
Monday and Saturday several others were tried and acquitted." — Eds. 

1777.] JOHN ELIOT. 123 

D r Byles' church has been supplied by a number of 
young gentlemen. The gentleman who was statedly 
preaching there, a M r Williams, died a few weeks ago in 
D r Sprague's Hospital, while he was under inoculation 
for the small pox ; and by his death the world w r as de- 
prived of one of its greatest ornaments. lie was one of 
the most accomplished scholars & best preachers of his 
standing, & was possessed of a disposition which made 
him endearing to all his acquaintance. 

It was the greatest injury to the ministry that ever 
was done when this church proceeded to dismiss D r B. 
without any kind of advice from an Ecclesiastical Coun- 
cil. Tho' many congregations in the country had set the 
example, yet we might have done the business for them, 
if this church had not supported them in their unjust 
behavior, & we might have made this very people buckle, 
if it had not been for the support they received from the 
ministers of Boston. Vacant parishes are so numerous, 
& candidates so few, that we view ourselves in the same 
light as English goods, being rendered inestimably valu- 
able by our scarcity. And as we can chuse where to 
preach, we refuse to supply those places where they have 
used the ministers ill. The consequence of which is, that 
all these disorderly societies are now obliged to call coun- 
cils to ratify what has been done, or give advice what 
had best be done. But as this church in Boston is looked 
upon as respectable from its situation, and as they are 
countenanced by the Boston clergy, many are ambitious 
of preaching there who would despise their own conduct 
if such a procedure has taken place in a more obscure 
parish. D r Chauncy, who was so angry with the Bol- 
tonians when they dismissed M r Goss as to say he would 
refuse communion with them,* from his enmity to Byles 
not only justified but stimulated them to this proceeding, 

* For a detailed account of the troubles between the people of Bolton and their minister, 
Rev. Thomas Goss, see Edes's Address at Bolton, July 4, 1876, pp. 15-18, 43, 44. — Eds. 


alledging that it was an irregular time & we must expect 
thing[s] irregular. My father was against it, as you well 
know, to the risk of his popularity, which was at great 
hazard owing to my refusing to supply the pulpit, as well 
as his own observation upon the measures. Being at 
leisure the other day, I was in a manner obliged to 
preach for them, but would not engage for any time. 
Scd non, quo ad hoc, &c. We were about the Court of 
Inquisition. D r Kast & M r Bradstreet were cleared. 
Parson Clarke is condemned. I don't know who comes 

We are all starving here. Since this plaguey addition 
to the regulating bill, people will not bring in provision, & 
we cannot procure the common necessaries of life. What 
we shall do I know not. You will see by the papers that 
we are pretty warm about the matter. Cousin Sam is 
thoroly worked up. I doubt not but that you [know] 
his sentiments, & can judge how nervously he speaks 
upon the matter. 

We have here among us some Irish Magazines which 
Capt. Smedly took lately. I wish you could see them. 
There is plenty of matter edifying & entertaining. Your 
brother & I think them far beyond any thing of the kind 
that we have seen. But y e reason of my mentioning 
them at this time is to let you know how they speak of 
our politicians & hero's. They appear to be friend [s] to 
America & say much in our praise ; but they seem to be 
very much mistaken in y r Characters, or else speak con- 
trary, from their Hibernian dialect. The frontispiece is 
the President of our Continental Congress. It is said he is 
a person of surprising eloquence, a fine writer, argumenta- 
tive & cool, as may be seen in the addresses of the Con- 
gress, all which were penned by him ; that he hath lately 
married one of the most accomplished ladies on the con- 
tinent, who has bro't him a great addition to his paternal 
fortune. So much for him. M r S. Adams is a gentleman 

1777.] JOHN ELIOT. 125 

who hath sacrificed an immense fortune in the service of 
his country. He is an orator likewise, & there is a famous 
oration upon the independance of America, which, it is 
. said, he delivered at Philadelphia, January, 1776, but which 
was never seen in America before. General Washington, 
they say, was first, a private in the King's Guards, & fought 
against the Rebels in 1745. Afterwards he went to Amer- 
ica, & was promoted till he rose to be the accomplished 
gentleman the world now views him. Old Putnam was a 
long time in the service of the King of Prussia. In short, 
if you had nothing to judge from but the Characters, you 
would suppose it to be entirely burlesque. But from the 
whole of the Magazine you must impute it to ignorance. 
It is my own opinion that some Irishmen set down & con- 
jectured what might be the characters of the American 
worthies, & dealt them out according to his own sentiments. 
The most surprising circumstance is that they suppose 
Major Rogers is a general in our army, & that he left the 
British service upon the disgust he took at his treatment 
some years ago. After giving his general character, they 
enlarge upon the ingratitude of Britain in treating such 
men as he, Lee, Montgomery, &c, in such a manner. 
These things have diverted me during my confinement, 
which has been off & on these three weeks, owing to 
lameness. I was so terribly galled by a hard trotting 
horse sometimes that I could scarcely walk for a week, & 
when I did walk it was in such a manner that I was 
obliged to tie a handkerchief round my leg to save ap- 
pearances. The next week a bad sore came in that very 
place where the han[d]kerchief was tied. And last night, 
when my leg had got pretty well, I sprained my knee, & 
am unable to stir out of my chair today, & am in great 
pain. It w r ould divert you to see me, however. 



His Excels Gov r Trumbull, Lebanon. 

Portsmouth, R. Island, 13 th August, 1778. 

Hon d Sir, — Tho' I am entirely uncertain of any op- 
portunity of conveyance to you, yet I cannot lose the 
opportunity of this idle day, or fail to employ a part of 
it in writing you an account of our movements to this 
time. On Saturday afternoon the French fleet pass'd up 
the harbour to take a station suitable to support our right 
in the intended action. The firing from the batteries 
they pass'd was very considerable, and return'd with pro- 
digious fury from the fleet, tho' without any damage 
to either party. The fleet anchor'd at sunsett under 

On Sunday morn? we received intelligence that, on the 
passing of the fleet, the enemy had abandon'd all their 
outposts and withdrawn to the town. This information 
determin'd the Gen 1 to hasten his intended plan, and 
take possession immediately. Topham's reg* accordingly 
pass'd and took possession of the fort on Butts's Hill 
near the ferry, about 7 o'clock in the morn g . The whole 
army follow'd as fast as possible, and form'd agreeable 
to the order of battle before given, in the following 
manner, viz.: Varnum's, Glover's, Cornell's, & Greene's 
brigades in the first line, making about 5,000 men, — 
the right com d by M. Gen 1 Greene, the left by the 
Marquiss; Titcomb's & Lovell's brigades in the second 
line ; & West's as a reserve in the 3 d ; the artillery was 
dispos'd between each brigade of the first & second 

* John Trumbull, the. painter, served as a volunteer aid to General Sullivan in the ex- 
pedition for the recovery of Rhode Island. (See Trunihull's Autohio<rraphy pp. 51-57.) 
He was horn in Lebanon, Conn , June 6, 1756. graduated at Harvard College in 1773, and 
died in New York. Nov. 10, 1843. His father, Governor Jonathan Trumhull, was horn in 
Lebanon, June 10, 1710, graduated at Harvard College in 1727, and died Aug. ..7, 1785. 
— Eds 

1778.] JOHN TRUMBULL. 127 

lines, & a reserve of 8 or 10 pieces in rear of the reserve 
of infantry. In this position, our front presented to the 
south, we pass'd the first of the day. A little after noon 
we receiv'd intelligence of a fleet of thirty sail standing 
for the harbour, — wind at south. We rode down to 
a hill about four miles from the enemy, whence w r e 
plainly discover'd them ; the wind dying away, they 
anchor'd off the harbour. We pass'd the night in anx- 
iety, expecting a body of troops to be landed, as it was 
impossible for the French to go down to prevent it. 

Monday morn, the wind came to the northward, and 
the fleet weigh'd and stood out to the English, who 
instantly made all the sail they could to avoid them. 
We saw the chace till sunsett, just before which we 
saw a firing commence ; since which we see or hear 
nothing from them. The storm has been furious & 
incessant since Tuesday to this hour, and we have 
yet no prospect of fair weather. 

Our situation is truly miserable, not tents for half 
our troops, and no other covering whatever. The peo- 
ple are universally wet, and their arms and ammunition 
in very bad order. We are lying in the position we 
first took, save this difference, that two regim ts now 
form a flank division on our left, and the Connecticut 
troops, of whom there are about 700, the same on 
our right. 

The first clear morning we shall devote to putting 
our arms & ammunition in good order, and then move 
on immediately. We shall probably encamp about 2 
miles from the enemy's lines, on the east of the east 
road, our left toward Sichawert Beach, and erect bat- 
teries in our front, about J mile from the enemy. 
We are double the enemy in number, in good spirits, 
while they are dispirited & disunited. 

When we shall see the fleet again I know not, but 
expect to have the siege carried on without their assist- 


ance. Gen 1 Hancock now commands our second line. 
There are a number of volunteers from Boston and N. 

Till some better weather, shall have nothing to add, 
as nothing can be undertaken till then. 

I am, hon d Sir, with sincerest duty to you and my 
mother, & love to the family, your son, 

J. Trumbull. 

His ExcelP. Gov r Trumbull 


Mr Joseph Belknap, Dover. 

Camb ge , Sept' 28* 1778. 

Dear & honored Sir, — I last week heard of the 
unhappy accident which, I am told, has in a great 
measure deprived you of the use of your hand. I 
easily conceive the greatness of such a misfortune to 
a man of your busy temper & careful activity, as well 
as the pain which I suppose attends it. I cannot but 
lament with you, & with your w r hole worthy family, on 
this considerable interruption to your usefulness. Indeed, 
I consider myself as one of them, bound to you by the 
ties of gratitude for many services & kind attentions paid 
me during my residence with you. 

When the comforts & blessings of this life fail with 
us, we are more earnestly engaged by the promises of a 
careful & all-seeing Providence & the faith of a future 
state of uninterrupted happiness. I, who am but a youth 
in life & much more of one in religion, can say but little 
to a man who from his youth to a considerable age has 
devoted a great part of his life to the duties of religion, 
& who has made such a proficiency in his knowledge 
of & reliance on the truths of the Gospel. I have no 
doubt that in this misfortune you find great consolation 
from those doctrines & promises, for you know them & 

1778.] SAMUEL SEWALL. 129 

have long practised the use of them. May you in every 
hour of your future life find yourself possessed with the 
patience & fortitude which our religion teaches under 
every misfortune, and have the hours of present pain 
& affliction brightened to your view by the hopes of 
a blessed hereafter. 

You have one consolation which every father at your 
time of life has not : you have children, who from prin- 
ciple as well as from the feelings of natural affection will 
afford every assistance & chearing comfort to you which 
you can need or they can supply, and they will do it 
chearfully & gratefully. I am a thankful witness of the 
goodness of their hearts, of a benevolence of mind which 
can never fail to be a source of kindness & relief to their 
father & family. Your excellent partner, too, she who 
has been a mother to me, she can yet be serviceable 
about you, & will ever, I hope, be able to chear you with 
her aimiable & pleasing conversation. Methinks I see 
you both passing thro' the vale of life possesed of that 
comfortable subsistence which I presume you have suffi- 
cient for, & having, in addition to that, all the superior 
conveniences which your right arm once supplied, sup- 
plied now by the care & attention of your grateful 
& aimiable children in return for all the cares of such 
excellent parents. 

You will receive this as coming from that grateful affec- 
tion which I bear you & your family. Perhaps in this 
way I may give you some pleasure : I shall be happy 
to administer the smallest. 

We have no news here, or I would write you some. 

Be pleased to present my respects to your lady & fam- 
ily, & beleive me, with much respect, 

Your obliged & very humble servant, 

S. S. 

I write in a hurry, which must excuse the blots & 




Boston, October 5 th , 1778. 

Rev d and dear Sir, — It has been matter of regret to 
me that so few letters have passed between us these 
months back, and I am particularly affected with surprise 
and sorrow about the packet M r Clarke sent to Ports- 
mouth. You will be so kind as to inform M r Adams of 
Durham that there was a letter for him enclosed in it. 

Your late epistle came to my hands when I was in- 
dulging my grief for the loss of my dear and venerable 
father, whose death you so earnestly wished might not be 
near, but who was called to associate with the Father of 
Spirits a few days before. Our friend M r E. has written 
a very just account of his last sickness, and all I can add 
to his relation will be those minute circumstances which 
are due to the enquiries of a friend, and to which my 
situation enabled me to give a most particular attention. 
Tho' the recollection of the last scene of his life fills me 
with the most melancholy ideas, and every fibre of my 
bosom is in agitation, yet I must say that there is a pleas- 
ure mingled with my affliction, and I never oppose its 
coming fresh upon my mind. His death was fully ade- 
quate to the expectations which could be formed by the 
most partial of his friends who beheld his deportment and 
those amiable virtues which were ever exhibited in his 
character. He died, as he lived, a Christian. To this his 
ambition led him, to this heigth he arrived, and from this 
height he took his flight to the regions of bliss and glory, 
as if ardently desiring to receive his reward. 

Soon after he was taken ill, he deliberated against a 
recovery from the disease. He was sensible before this 
sickness that there was something singular in the state of 
his bowels from his being subject to faint turns, which 
always succeeded a laxness. Upon this I am of opinion 

1778.] JOHN ELIOT. 131 

that he laid much stress, and that he foresee consequences 
which were unknown to his friends. Above a week be- 
fore he died, he told me that he never [should] go out of 
his chamber. I did not think his case desperate till 
Thursday preceeding his exit. In his whole sickness he 
seemed lost to this world and preparing for his departure. 
When M r Still man visited him, which I think was on Fri- 
day, he told him " he was then rejoicing in the sight of 
God's countenance. The doctrines," says he, "which I 
have preached to others are now my consolation. With 
much imperfection I have preached Jesus Christ and Him 
crucified ; and in His name I now triumph over Death." 
When the physicians told him that they were destitute of 
hope, and that he had not long to live, his answer was, the 
sooner the better, " I have finished my course with joy." 
Saturday night, he told me he should begin an everlasting 
Sabbath the next morning, and with great affection wished 
me a good night. About 5 o'clock, I was called up and 
went to his bedside. The doctor told him he was dying. 
He told him that he was sensible that he had done the 
best to save him, and returned thanks for his kindness. 
He asked me who w T as to preach in his pulpit, and desired 
me to tell him to acquaint the people that in his dying 
moments he was enjoying the comfort of that religion 
and those principles which he had ever preached to them. 
Just after this he was in much distress at his stomach, & 
cried out, " Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly, lest I fail of 
that faith and patience by which I expect to inherit the 
promises." Then turning to me, he said, " It is a question 
with me whether I o't to wish to die, or to wait quietly 
till it is the will of my Father to call me hence. His 
will be done." Not a minute after this elapsed before he 
breathed his last. I will not dip my pen to describe the 
moving, the striking, the solemn scene which succeeded. 
It was the most gloomy day I ever knew. M r Thatcher 
of Maiden preached at our meeting. He displayed him- 


self to admiration. His sermons and prayers were so 
well adapted to the occasion, that there was not an unfeel- 
ing heart in the very large assembly which were gathered 
together. Had there been an unweeping eye, the bosom 
of such a person must have been steeled with adamant, 
and it would have been demonstration to me that he pos- 
sessed only the shape of humanity. There are two 
sources of consolation which are refreshing to us in this 
day of trouble and in this affliction which is brought upon 
us, — the felicity to which he is admitted and the illus- 
tration which was afforded in his last moments of the 
truth, the excellency, & the unspeakable advantages of 
our holy religion. We cannot doubt but that he is wafted 
from this valley of tears to the fruition of eternal blessed- 
ness. And we need only behold such calmness, such for- 
titude, and such joy as were centered in his breast, and we 
shall be persuaded that religion is a reality, and that the 
Gospel of Jesus Christ is infinitely more than a cunningly 
devised fable. Indeed, the greatest fortitude has been 
shewn by some who we would not assert were true Chris- 
tians ; but this is the most we can say : They have not 
a fear of death. True ; but they have not likewise that 
inward peace and satisfaction which accompanies a belief 
on Him who came into the world to deliver us from death, 
and who is justly styled the Resurrection and the Life. 
They are unacquainted with those positive joys, those 
ravishing pleasures, which transport the soul at the pros- 
pect of a, glorious immortality. These are only allowed 
to the Christian. And w r hen they are exhibited in the 
life or death of a person, it is a sure evidence that he is 
arrived to that happy state, and it clearly evinces the 
worth and excellence of Christianity, and that its rewards 
are such as are promised in the Gospel. 

You will doubtless enquire after my mamma and the 
rest of the family. We are all well, and my mother much 
calmer than I should have expected under her circum- 

1778.] JOHN ELIOT. 133 

stances, and with a frame so sensible and a breast so 
susceptible of tender emotions. As far as sympathy will 
alleviate the anxiety and distress of the human bosom, so 
much of our affliction is detracted from us. Thousands of 
hearts feel, for us. Floods of tears have descended from 
the eyes of the compassionate and humane, and many 
mourn his loss and weep for themselves, who are deprived 
of a guide, a pastor, and a friend. 

Every mark of respect has been shewn to his memory, 
except the customary of tribute of some nearest friend, 
who, according to expectation, would delineate his char- 
acter and particularise his virtues for the inspection and 
benefit of the world. Why this has not been done, you 
have the hint from M r Eliot * 

I am able to say no more at present. My brother An- 
drew is in town, and desires to be remembered. My 
sister Sally will be married to night.t I expect it will 

* In the Supplement to the Boston Gazette of Sept 28, 1778, is the following article: — 
" A Correspondent expresses his Grief and Astonishment, that the immemorial Custom of 
embalming the Memories of those illustrious Persons who have been the Ornaments and 
Blessings of the Community should for the first Time be violated in the Neglect shewn to the 
Character of that great and good Man, the Rev. Dr. Eliot \ — that those whose Lives 
have been a direct Contradiction to the Encomiums passed on them at their Decease should 
be held up to the World as Patterns of every Virtue, while so striking, so amiable an Ex- 
ample of Piety, Purity, and Charity should pass off the Stage of Action entirely unnoticed. 

" It was, says he, justly expected of those who have been with him from his Youth, and 
in the same sacred Employment, whose Station and Connections must have given them 
special Opportunities for observing the uniform Tenor of his valuable Life, and who were 
Witnesses of its triumphant Period, and the ample Testimony thence resulting to the Truth 
the Efficacy, and the Joys of Religion that they would have favoured us with the pleasing 
and instructive Story of his progressive Improvements in Knowledge and in Virtue — the 
Sincerity and Fervor of his Devotion — his Integrity of Heart and Simplicity of Manners 
— his Benevolence, Candor, and Condescention — his penetrating Genius and Precision of 
Thought — his extensive Erudition — his Fortitude and Prudence under peculiar Trials — 
his Assiduity in the Duties of a Christian Minister — the serious and affecting Matter of Ms 
public Addresses — the Fullness, Perspicuity, Elegance, and Purity of his Compositions — 
his pathetic and attractive Elocution, and Command of an Audience — his Patronage of 
Learning — his Sympathy with the Distress'd, and. Beneficence on every Occasion — his 
Love of Liberty and his Country — his domestic Virtues — In short, that Cluster of Accom- 
plishments which rendered him the Soul <$ Spirit of Society both Civil and Religious, and 
the Delight of all his Connections — that they would have caWd upon us on this affecting 
Occasion, in the expressive language of Inspiration to mark the perfect Man, and to behold 
the Upright, since the End of that Man was Peace — But they have not! '' — Eds. 

i The Boston Gazette of Oct. 32, 1778, records the marriage as follows.* — "On Monday 
evening last, Mr. Joseph Squire of Fairfield, in Connecticut, to Miss Sally Eliot, 



be overmuch affecting. Her father, — M r Lathrop must 
stand in his place. This worthy gentleman buried his 
wife the last week,* and is the fittest person to join in 
our company. 

I want much to come to Dover. Do let us be more 
intimate in our correspondence. I am sorry for the loss 
of M r Allen, and for your unhappy situation. Love to 
Ruthy and the children. 

Adieu. Your affectionate friend, 

John Eliot. 


The Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Dover. 

Portsm°, December 21, 1778. 

Dear Sir, — I received your letter in which you men- 
tion several circumstances which makes it eligible and 
necessary for you to publish your History of the State of 
New Hampshire sooner than you intended when I saw 
you last. The difficulties attending the publication at 
this time, I acknowledge, are many & so great thro' the 
fluctuating state of our paper currency & the scarcity of 
paper, that I hardly think it possible to be done by sub- 
scription, or that any particular number of gentleman 
would purchase the copy, as you mention, tho' I am eX- 

Daughter of that great and excellent Man, the Reverend Andrew Eliot, D.D., late Pastor 
of the New-North Church, in this Town." — Eds. 

* Her death is announced in the Supplement to the Boston Gazette of Sept. 28, 1778 : — 
"'Thursday evening last departed this life Mrs. Mary Lathror, the amiahle consort of the 
Rev. John Lathrop of this Town. Her friends and acquaintance are desired to attend her 
funeral, at 4 o'clock this afternoon." Mr. Lathrop was ordained minister of the Old North 
Church in 1708. In 1771), on the union of that society with the congregation worshipping 
in the New Brick, he became minister of the united societies, which assumed the name 
of the Second Church. (See Robbins's History of the Second Church.) — Eds. 

f Joshua Brackett, M. D., was born in Greenland, N. II., May 5, 17-33, graduated at 
Harvard College in 1752, and prepared himself for the ministry in accordance with the 
wishes of his parents, but afterward relinquished that profession for the more congenial 
study of medicine. He settled in Portsmouth, where he became an eminent physician 
and a public spirited citizen, and died there July 17, 1802. (See Adams's Annals of Ports- 
mouth, pp. 321-324.) — Eds. 

1779.] MESHECH WEARE. 135 

treemly desierous to have it printed, and should be glad 
to have you not only incouraged in the work, but fully 
compensated for your labour. I have thought of one 
scheme which appears to me to be the best, & which I 
have proposed to M r Martin, viz. to make application to 
the General Court to grant you a sum of money to enable 
you to publish it, and that you should have the whole 
advantage arising from the sale of the books after they 
are printed. If the sum the Court should grant should 
be insufficient, then I would endeavour to procure by pri- 
vate subscription as much as might enable you to do it. 
I have waited on M r King, Mess? John & Woodb?" Lang- 
don & Gains, who are members of the Court for this town, 
and proposed to them the scheme. They all approve oi 
it, and think the Court will make the grant without any 
difficulty. They are desierous of having it published, 
and have promised me their influence & exertions in the 
Court to obtain the grant ; but before they can make the 
proposal to the House they must know what sum will 
be sufficient. I am not able to informe them ; therefore 
should be glad you would think of the matter, and informe 
me (this week, if possible) what sum would be sufficient 
to make you some compensation & enable you to do it. 
I am, Sir, your sincere friend & obed^ hble. serv*, 

J. Brackett. 

M r . J. Belknap. 


Exeter, Jan? 15, 1779. 

Rev d Sir, — I receivd your favor of the 4 th instant. 
Am very glad you are prevaild on to continue your his- 

* Meshech Weare was born in Hampton, N. H., June 16, 1713, and graduated at 
Harvard College in 1735. He filled successively various positions of public trust, and in 
1776 was chosen President of New Hampshire, to which office he was annually re-elected 
until the formation of the new Constitution in 1784, when he was again elected to the high- 
est office in the gift of the people; but his growing infirmities compelled him to resign it 
before the end of the vear. He died Jan. 14, 1786. — Eds. 


torical account of this government to a later period than 
that to which you have already bro't it. So laudable an 
undertakeing deserves the assistance of every one. If 1 
can any way contribute to your being furnishd with ma- 
terials, it will give me much pleasure. 1 mentiond to 
the Committee of Safety your request to take into your 
custody such books and files, for a time, as may be neces- 
sary for the purpose, who have -consented thereto. It 
will be proper when you take any to leave a memorandum 
of what you take, that it may be known where they are 
if they should be wanted. If I happen to be at Exeter 
when you come there, shall gladly wait on you. I wish 
you success in this, as well as your more important affairs; 
and am with much esteem and respect, 

Y r ob fc hum le ser', 

Meshech Weare. 

Rev d M r Belknap. 


Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Dover. 

Portsmouth, March 10 l . h , 1779. 

Dear Sir, — Since I received yours ^ Col Baker, 
have applyed to our Representatives for Portsmouth & 
the State's Attorney, M r Livermore. They all continue 
to approve of the measure, and promise their influence & 
exertions in the General Court some time in this sessions ; 
and I have great expectation of their being able to pro- 
cure the proposed grant. 

I saw in the Exeter paper an advertisement of books 

belonging to the estate of the late G r Wentworth, to 

be sold at auction. I have one among them (Tissott on 
Health). My name, I think, is wrote in it, and I lent it 
him for his use while at Wentworth House. By claiming 
it for me the day before the sale, you '11 greatly oblige 

your friend & hble. serv*, 

J. Brackett. 
Rev d M: Belknap. 

1779.] JOHN ELIOT. 137 


Reverend M r Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, March 17, 1779. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — I am much obliged to your kind- 
ness for the receipt of two letters since I was favored with 
an opportunity of writing to you. Believe me when I say 
that you grieve me by hinting a suspicion that I am in 
the least indifferent about maintaining our correspond- 
ence. There is nothing affords me more satisfaction 
and pleasure than my letterary intercourse ; and I have no 
friend nearer to me than yourself. If I am faulty in any 
point, it is want of care in securing a conveyance of my 
epistles. This indolent disposition has led me into many 
scrapes, and is manifested in a variety of ways. I find, 
however, that I have written several times & the letters 
have miscarried. 

I rejoice to have an opportunity to send by M r Alleft, 
who is a gentleman I am always pleased with seeing, & 
whom I highly esteem. He is a person whose merit the 
world will be ever ready to acknowledge ; but who is not 
in himself calculated to demand the reward & applause 
which is adequate to his worth. He will walk well the 
little round of domestic life, & be esteemed by the wise 
& good, but will never be conspicuous in the bustle of y e 
great theatre. 

I am exceeding sorry your situation is like to be so 
disagreable to you, & heartily wish some prospect may 
open which will unfold a more pleasing scene. We all 
meet with our troubles. They sometimes visibly conduce 
to our advantage. We have reason to regard the severi- 
ties of Providence among the pledges of His favor. Re- 
ligion issues many streams of consolation amidst the 
vicissitudes, the cares & disappointments, of human life, 
as well as the chagrin occasioned by the evils of the 


present state which on all sides surround us. I doubt 
not, Sir, you experience these pleasures amidst the mul- 
titude of thoughts that are within you. 

My own situation at present is very critical & ineligible. 
Last week I left Salem after preaching there 2 months 
for M r Dunbar, who is in a very ill state of health. The 
New North Society agreed to confine themselves to me, & 
to invite me to preach 8 weeks. The meeting was large, 
only 6 dissentients. Should the Society invite me to 
settle at the end of this time, I am persuaded the oppo- 
sition will be much larger, and that they will continue at 
the meeting a factious crew, & strive to render my life 
unhappy. Master Leach declares this openly ; tho' he at 
the same time says that he likes my preaching, & would 
use his influence to settle me if Deacon Barrett was not 
so officious in my behalf, but he is determined to be in 
opposition to him. I anticipate nothing, am easy about 
the affair, & will from time to time acquaint you with my 
condition. Your advice will be gratefully received. 

Your brother Sam has been very poorly this week 
back. The times greatly prey upon his spirits. He seems 
to be better this afternoon, & the doctor thinks a ride or 
two will recruit him. 

Our own house is verily the house of mourning. My 
mother grows more & more melancholy, & may well be 
said to refuse to be comforted. She is persuaded that it 
is her [duty to] keep my father's image in her mind, and 
there it [will] remain to the next meeting, which will be 
in a place [where] there will be no more sorrow or 

'Tis said that the States of Holland have desired an 
alliance with the States of America ; that Colonel Camp- 
bell is Burgoined in Georgia ; that Spain has offered a loan 
of 25 millions of dollars, &c, &c. Credat Judceus Apella. 

The miseries of famine are now mingled with y e hor- 
rors of war. The poor people in the almshouse have 

1779.] ANTHONY WIBIRD. 139 

been destitute of grain & other necessaries these many 
days. Many reputable families are almost starving. Good 
Lord, deliver us. 

My mother desires her love to you & yours. 

Your affectionate friend and humble servant, 

J. Eliot. 


The Rev* Jeremy Belknap, Dover. To the care of John Penhallow, Esq., 


Braintree, 14 April, 1779. 

S R , — Yours of y e 15 th of Feb y I receiv'd last week. I 
am much pleas'd with your undertaking to write an 
History of New Hampshire, & shou'd be ready to afford 
you any assistance in procuring materials to forward & 
perfect y r . design. I wish to see a particular history of 
each State. In a seperate history of each, things might 
be related more minutely & circumstantially than wou'd 
be proper for a general history of y m all; and tho' minute- 
ness wou'd probably be disgusting to some readers, yet to 
y e natives of each State, & to those especially whose an- 
cestors were immediately concerned in its public trans- 
actions, it w r ou'd be pleasing & interesting. Such histories 
wou'd lay a good foundation for some future compiler in 
writing a general history of y e country. There is no 
people, I believe, whose history admits of being written 
with greater certainty than our own. A diligent com- 
piler by consulting narratives & memorials y fc have been 
published, public records & private papers to w h he might 
have access, wou'd be able to give a very full & clear 
ace* of y e most memorable occurrences & important trans- 

* Rev. Anthony Wibird, minister of the First Church in Quincy, was born in Ports- 
mouth, N. H., Feb. 14, 1728-9, graduated at Harvard College in 1747, and died in Quincy 
June 4, 1800. He was never married. — Eds. 


actions w h have taken place from y e first settlement of y e 
country to y e present time. If former transactions are 
too inconsiderable for y e notice of foreigners, those of y e 
present day will be tho't deserving of their attention & 
afford them an high entertainment. 

Madam Belcher has been dead some months, but I 
waited upon M r f Belcher & acquainted her with y r design 
& request. She told me y e letters were brought to Mil- 
ton, but with many other papers destroyed when they 
had y e misfortune, two or three years ago, to lose their 
house by fire ; so y* you can expect no information from 
y* quarter. 

I wish you success in y r undertaking, & y* when y r 
work is published it may meet with y e acceptance of y e 

I am very sorry to hear y r friend, Cap n Waldron, is in so 
ill a state of health. Please to give my service to him. 
From y r friend & humble serv fc , 

Anth. Wibird. 


Reverend M r Belknap, Dover. Favored by Rev? M r Buckminster. 

Boston, June 28, [1779]. 

Kev d Sir, — I must beg pardon for omitting writing so 
long, but can offer as an excuse that I have scarcely been 
at Boston two days together since I left you at Dover. 
I was much disappointed when I found that M r T. had 
supplyed his pulpit & gone his journey. I heard at Ports- 
mouth that he had set off, but my brother told me that 
he expected me there that Sunday. He had told him 
before I was to come, and I concluded that he had de- 
pended upon my supplying his desk. 

Three of us that were chosen to preach upon probation 
at the New North refused. They have been destitute these 

1779.] JOHN ELIOT. 141 

two Sabbaths, & the house would have been shut up had 
not persons accidentally fell in. M r Buckminster preached 
yesterday ; was very much liked. He will take this 
letter ; but I can have time to say nothing about many 
things I should be glad to write upon. I am well. My 
mother has been very ill, but is now in good health. 
Your brother Sam remains in statu quo. I rejoice in your 
happyness, which must be increased by Ruthy's being 
safe abed. # My love to her ; wish her patience necessary 
on the occasion. I, among the others who hold the mem- 
ory of my father dear, esteem it a particular mark of es- 
teem & affection that you should fix upon the name of 
our deceased friend. My mother is peculiarly gratified. 

I am to preach next Lord's day at my father's, meerly 
to oblige my friends, who were much grieved at my 
neglecting them. 

The Old South have voted to admit no children to bap- 
tism but those whose parent[s] are in full communion. 
Many principal members are in opposition, — Deacon 
Jeffres, M r Chushing, &c. The young people will go off 
in great numbers. Young Sam Whitwell has joined M r 

Twenty & above of the most respectable families in 
our congregation have spoken for pews at the Old Brick. 
Should I not settle at the New North, many will go to D r 
Cooper's ; some to M r Howard's. How shall I behave in 
this situation? May I have that wisdom w ch is profitable 
to direct ! 

Paper money is at a stand. Some things have fell, it 
is said. M r Sam 1 Adams is in town ; says the Congress 
have received no official intelligence from Gen 1 Moultrie ; 
supposes the British army are defeated, and the General 
waited for the surrender before he sent his account of 

* Mr. Belknap's fourth son, Andrew Eliot, was born in Dover, June 4, 1779, and died 
in Boston, Jan. 25, 1858. —Eds. 


I will send you President Langdon's sermon on D r Win- 
throp. It is better than I thought him capable of writing. 
I have it not now. 

Adieu till the next opportunity. 

Your affectionate friend & humble servant, 

John Eliot. 

Rev*. Jeremiah Belknap, Dover. 

North Hampton, July 9 th , 1779. 

Rev d Sir, — I am desired to inform that the prep- 
erations for printing your sermon are in forwardness. 
M r Fowle has undertaken to print it in Portsrn . There 
are about one hundred subscribed for in this place. Sub- 
scriptions must circulate in neighbouring towns. Setting 
the press for 100 will turn out 6/ ^(j> p* exclusive of 
paper; 200, 4/; 300, 3/; what the expense of paper will 
be I have not heard. 

You will please to forward the copy to the printer as 
soon as convenient. They determine to go thro' with it 
should no more subscribers offer. I shall request some of 
the ministers to promote it among their people. Will 
you please to give my service to Col Baker, & that I 
shall be obliged to him to promote a subscription in 
Dover. When closed it may be forwarded to My Fowle, 
that the number to be struck off may be seasonably 
known. And may the divine blessing accompany it into 
the world. 

With suitable respects, I am, rev d Sir, 

Your friend & very hble. serv*, 

D. Macclure. 

Rev d Jeremy Belknap. 

1779.] JOHN ELIOT. 143 


Rev? M r . Jeremiah Belknap, Dover. To the Care of M r . Richard 
Champney, Portsmouth. 

Boston, July 31, [1779]. 

Rev? and dear Sir, — Your very agreable letter had 
laid in the Post Office some days before it came to my 
hand, and after it was taken up I was obliged to go out 
of town, which is the reason you did not e'er this receive 
an answer. 

The affairs of our church remain in statu quo. I suppose 
that they will give me a call after M r Greenough's course 
of preaching is finished. It will not be without opposi- 
tion. I wish for that wisdom which is profitable to direct. 
In my present view of the matter I cannot think it my 
duty to unite myself to them except they are more united 
in me. 

The New South wait for the determination of the New 
North ; there would also be a dissent. My good friend 
M* Adams is now at home, & he loves me as the Devil 
doth righteousness.* He declares to my friends that he 
knows of no young gentleman so pleasing to him, and 
there he concludes. I suppose, and am assured, that they 
would have invited me to settle if I had given encourage- 
ment, or said that I preferred them to my father's people. 
This I never would do. I make no promises before I'm 
asked, and it is fresh in my mind that they have abused 
M r Clarke, or he acted a most unjustifiable part in telling 
them that he would leave D r Chauncy if they would 
give him an invitation to settle upon the same terms. 
For mine own part I believe there was fault on both 

* Samuel Adams, one of the Delegates in Congress, had leave of absence granted to him, 
June 9, 1779, and returned to Boston, where he remained nearly a year. (See Journals of 
Congress, vol. v. p. 251; Wells's Life of Samuel Adams, vol. iii. p. 68.)— Eds. 

t Rev. John Clarke was born in Portsmouth, N. H., April 13, 1755, graduated at 
Hirvard College in 1774, was ordained over the First Church in Boston, as colleague with 


The Old South Society have desired M r Eccly to give 
his answer to their call which was given him some months 
since. I understand it is to be read tomorrow, and in 
the affirmative.* The church have voted that none but 
communicants shall have the priviledge of baptism for 
their children. It was carried with a bare majority. 
Deacon Jeffries, M r Gushing, & I believe your kinsman, 
were violent against it. M r dishing & others will leave 
the meeting. Young Whitwell has done it, & most of 
the young people will follow his example. I think that 
Brother Eccly has a most miserable prospect before him, 
& that, should he live a few years, according to all expec- 
tation he will see the Society broken in pieces. He is a 
most worthy, sensible little fellow, but has offended the 
ministers of the town in wholly neglecting them. He 
has not asked the advice, or been to visit upon the occa- 
sion any of the gentlemen of that order. 

I am not able to procure D r Chauncy's manuscript. I 
had an opportunity of seeing that part of it referring to 
the unpardonable sin, and have conversed with M r Clarke 
upon the subject. The D r understands the text in the 
most literal meang. He says that sin never shall be 
forgiven. But this by no means interferes w T ith the final 
restitution of all things. For what if this sin is not for- 
given ? Yet the sinner may be admitted to happyness 
after having suffering, the punishment annexed to the 
commission of it. The punishment threatned is y e second 
death. It amounts therefore to this. All that sin against 
the Holy Ghost shall suffer the penalty of the second 
death, or in other words shall be cast into the lake, &c. 
All other sins may be forgiven unto men ; that is to say, 

Rev. Dr. Chauncy, July 8. 1778, and died April 2, 1798. (See Ellis's History of the First 
Church, pp. 208-215.) — Ens. 

* Rev. Joseph Eckley was horn in London, England, Oct. 11,1750, came to this country 
at an early age. and graduated at Princeton in 1772. He was ordained over the Old South 
Church, Oct. 27.1779, and died April 30, 1811. (See Hill's History of the Old South 
Church, vol. ii. pp. 190, 201, 356.)— Eds. 

177D-] JOHN ELIOT. 145 

if sinners have not arrived to this pitch of wickedness 
they may not suffer the punishment of the other world ; 
they may receive a full pardon of their sins, but this par- 
don will not be extended towards those who sin in the 
sense before mentioned. To them there is no more sacri- 
fice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for of jud[g]ment 
remains, or fiery indignation, &c, w ch is the second death. 
M r C. illustrates the matter thus : Suppose a human le- 
gislature should annex certain punishments to crimes, but 
allow for the medium of a pardon to all but one, which 
was of such a nature that it would weaken the authority 
of governmt. to pass it by upon any occasion, we should 
make use of this language, that such a person, one who 
has been guilty of this crime, could not be forgiven. Yet 
he doth not follow that because he suffered the punishment 
denounced in this instance, that he may not afterwards 
become a good member of society. What think you of 
all this ? I confess that it appears rational to me, and I 
am led to think that the difficulties w ch occur about this 
text of Scripture are owing to our mistaken ideas con- 
cerning the word forgiveness, or to some conceptions 
equally vague about the punishment of the other world. 
I have many difficulties in mine own mind about futurity, 
and am not sorry because they excite attention, and the 
more I study, the more I admire the Xian dispensation. 
I will mention them occasionally in the course of our cor- 
respondence. Thus much I am persuaded off. It will not 
do to publish it at once, if proper to expose it at all. It 
is too sublime for the soaring of vulgar imaginations, 
& would dazzle, if not blind, the eyes of the populace. 
It would be like the rays of the noonday sun to persons 
iwho had never before seen the light. Our Saviour said 
to his followers : " I have many things to tell you, but ye 
Scannot bear them now." And this D* C. quotes to excuse 
his own conduct in concealing his sentiments from the 
people und r his charge, as well as the world in general. 



I am ready to think more ministers are of this opinioi 
than has hitherto been imagined. The doctrine must b< 
pleasing to the Calvinists, because it exalts the characte 
of the Mediator. The Arminians cannot but relish it, a; 
it favors their plan of liberality. Thus, as it suits person 
of different sentiments in other matters, & falls in witl 
the various sects of the Church, it bids fair to prevail 
Magna est Veritas. 

You will mention with the greatest freedom where j 
have not been clear about the unpardonable sin. I an 
persuaded that, if you meet with anything unintelligible 
it must be imputed to my expression, and not to the idea 
of the author. 

The speculation you enclosed in your lettei I put ii 
Drapers & Folsom's paper.* It did not come soon eno 
to be in Gill's. It was curious to hear the observations o 
people upon it, but it was more curious still to be attacke< 
in the manner I was soon after the publication. It is im 
possible anything should go thro' our presses without tin 
publisher appeared to correct the errors of the printers 
and indeed I could not have procured a place in the pape 
had I not put it in as mine own. I never expected afte: 
this to be suspected as the author. But to my grea 
surprise a letter written by M r Hazard reached m< 
complaining greatly of my ungentlemanlike treatment o 
him in making use of his name upon such an occasion 

* The article referred to appeared as a communication in the Independent Ledger c 
July2fi, 177!). It was a political fable about a "speckled hen" and "an egg of an ur 
common kind" which she had laid, suggested by the attempt, in 1779, to form a Consti 
tution for New Hampshire ; and in a postscript the writer says : " Perhaps the ingeniou 
Mr. Hazard may be glad of this e^'j; to hang up among other curiosities in this collection a 
a Lusus Naturae, or an American absurdity." In the Ledger of August 2 appeared th 
following disclaimer: "Messrs. Printers, —The Publisher of the account of a late extra 
ordinary production at Pennycook, which was printed in your last paper, is sorry to fin 
that the design of that publication has been misunderstood, and that some have suppose 
a reflection upon Mr Hazard was intended, as he had taken the liberty to mention tha 
gentleman's name. He therefore thus publicly declares that he had no such intention, no 
doth he believe that Mr. Hazard had any interest in or connection with the politic"! trans 
action attended to therein." See also the Correspondence between Hazard and Belknap i: 
5 Mass. Hist. Col., vol. ii. pp. 8-15. — Ens. 

1779.] JOHN ELIOT. 147 

demanding an explanation in public and wondering at 
my conduct. It seems, as he afterwards told me, that he 
supposed there had been some intrigue of a British officer 
to w ch he was accused as be'g accessary, & feared a reflec- 
tion upon his moral character. He had therefore insisted 
upon knowing the author from the printer. I dined with 
him yesterday, & we talked over the matter to our mutual 
satisfaction, and I am somewhat happy at what has taken 
place, since it has bro't me to the acquaintance & encreas- 
ing intimacy of a gentleman h[igh] in my esteem. He 
knows you to be the author of the piece, & laughed at 
[his own] misapprehension of y e thing. I want to mention 
some anecdotes from him, as w T ell as to write particularly 
about some historical matters, w ch wld. answer your en- 
quiries, but I must wave them at present. I fear about 
my length. Suffice it to say, I shall do all in my power 
to forward the plan you propose, & expect to be at Dover 
with Mf Hazard by the first of September. It may be 
sooner or later. 

You have doubtless heard of the burning of Fairfield. 
My brother has lost his all, his furniture, books, &c. My 
sister Sally has met with the same or almost an equal 
loss. My brother's letter was printed in White & Adams' 
paper.* I would send you one had I a private opportu- 
nity, as likewise M r Sewall's oration, &c, &c. 

I wish you had a maintenance from your people more 

* Fairfield, Conn., was burned by a British expedition under Generals Tryon and 

Garth, July 7, 1779. The letter by Rev. Andrew Eliot which is referred to in the text was 

printed in the Boston Evening Post for July 24, 1779. In it he says: "General Tryon 

was in various parts of the town plot, — the good women begging and intreating him to 

spare their houses. Mr. Sayre, the Church of England's missionary, a gentleman firmly 

and zealously engaged in the British interest, and who has suffered considerably in their 

cause, joined the women in their intreaties, begged the General to spare the town, but his 

request was denied. He then begged that a few houses might be kept as a shelter for some 

who could provide habitations nowhere else. This was likewise denied him. At length 

j Mr. Tryon consented to save buildings and property of Mr. Burr and the writer of this 

j epistle. They had both been plundered e'er this. He likewise said that the houses for 

| public worship should be spared. He was far from being in a good temper of mind during 

the whole affair. — General Garth, at the other end of the town, treated the inhabitants 

with as much humanity as his errand would admit of." — Eds. 


adequate, both for the advantage of the public & your- 
self. I am sorry & extremely grieved at w fc you say about 
your salary, & wish I could contribute any advice worth 
acceptance. I commend your resolution not to be a 
hewer of wood or drawer of water. 

[_No signature.^ 


The Rev* M r Belknap, Dover, New Hampshire. Favored by M r Hazard 

Boston, September 11, [1779" 1 

Rev d and dear Sir, — I cannot but think you was 
much surprised at the conclusion of my last letter, which 
abruptness, tho' somewhat characteristic of your friend 
was owing to peculiar accident at the time. I left of 
when I did in order to send you an accurate account ol 
some things as answers to your enquiries. Before I could 
see M r Eliot or gain an opportunity of conversing with 
him, I took a ride meerly to spend y e afternoon in a 
neighboring town, & was confined there several days b\ 
a wound received from the hand of a young lady, whc 
amidst other wanton tricks was the means of sp[r]aining 
ray knee, and came near breaking the pan. It was neai 
post-day & I was obliged to improve an opportunity by a 
gentleman just setting off for Boston to send what was 
written. I hope you received it, unfinished as it was. ] 
am afraid M r Hazard should know this, lest he should 
suspect me of having some communication with anothei 
speckled hen, to which he may claim acquaintance, and 
insist upon being introduced to her as a person of anothei 
breed, and more able to cope with her. In other words 
(for fear you may have some ideas you ought not to have 
& think I have been bestriding some hobby horse beyond 
my bearing,) and, to be delicate, he may be ambitious oi 
paying his respects, and this may put you upon anothei 

1779.] JOHN ELIOT. 149 

examination about eggs, hatched chickens, and the like. 
Bed non quoad hoc, or to the point. 

I asked M r E. about Governor Usher's papers. He 
says Deacon Jeffries told him it was a matter that could 
not be determined. He knew of none, and it would take 
him months to look over the rubbish wmere they must be 
if in existence. He begs to be a sharer of your Syberian 
wheat. If you will save a quart till I come your way, 
I will strive to obtain a place for it in my portmanteau. 

It is a very severe disappointment to me that I am not 

able to set out with M r H d. That gentleman has 

such a great share of my esteem and love that I am in 
a manner under obligation to you for your speculation 
which brought me into his company. Where good sense 
is tempered with humour, and an amiable disposition 
united to fine abilities, I am never weary of cultivating 
an intimacy and strengthning the ties of friendship. I 
had promised myself much pleasure in the ride to Dover, 
and cannot settle the account to mine own satisfaction 
without spending a day ac your house before M r Hazard's 
departure ; and I would be ready to engage to be there 
by the latter end of next week, if I did not suspect you 
would so far depend upon it as to indulge yourself with 
the thoughts of setting still the succeeding Sabbath. I 
believe, however, that I shall fulfill my engagement made 
with you last spring, if not the day expected, very likely 
pe Sunday after. 

The reason of my delaying the journey is, a meeting 
)f the proprietors of our church requires my attendance. 
They are to offer me the terms of settlement. I must 
iee or hear from you before I give my answer. You will 
loubtless advise me about the contract, afford your assist- 
ance in qualifying me for the ministerial office, as well as 
emember me in your prayers, that I may derive from 
he Fountain of light & knowledge that wisdom w ch is 
'Tofi table to direct, and those gifts & graces which I surely 


need. The division in the church was thus much in mi 
favor, six for M r Greenough,* 7 for M r Allen,! 32 for me, 
A number who commune at the table were deprived oJ 
the priviledge of voting, because they have not been dis- 
missed from other churches, who were unanimously ir 
my interest. Of the congregation 89 were present, anc 
85 voted for your friend, 4 against him. This subject we 
shall talk over. I could wish to have settled where ] 
should have received an invitation had not my connectior 
here prevented me. Sed sic visum est superis, and I desire 
to submit to the will of Heaven, however present appear 
ances may thwart my wishes, or be in opposition to mine 
own opinion. 

How did you digest the explanation concerning the sir 
against the Holy Ghost ? I wish to say something more 
about that controversy, but must hasten to finish thii 
letter, w cb has kept me longer in town than I o't to be,— 
it being Saturday, no body engaged to administer th( 
communion tomorrow, and my purpose to ride 20 miles 
if no gentleman nearer can be had, of which I see no 
the least probability. 

M r H d will acquaint you with every thing off 

political nature. The family are all well, send love, &c 
My respects to all our worthy friends at Dover. Kisi 
little Andrew for me, a dozen times over for his name'i 
sake above the rest which are demanded for a son o 
such worthy persons. 


Ever yours, 

John Eliot 

* Rev. William Greenough, bom in Boston, June 29, 1756, graduated at Yale College ii 
1774, settled over the church in Newton in 1781, died Nov. 10, 1831.— Eds. 

t Rev. Jonathan Allen, born in Braintree, Feb. 16, 1749, graduated at Harvard Colleg 
in 1774, ordained as minister of the West Parish, Bradford, Mass., in 1781, died tlier 
March 6, 1827. (See Hurd's History of Essex County, Mass., vol. ii. pp.2095, 2096 
Kingsbury's Memorial History of Bradford, pp. 106-116.) — Eds. 

1779.] WILLIAM GORDON. 151 


The JRev? M r . Belknap, Dover. By the ingenious M r Hazard. 

J. Plain, Sep 1 . 13, 1779. 

Bro. Belknap, — These parsons are strange fellows ; 
they will neither admit of British nor American tyranny. 
If constitutions are attempted to be palmed upon the 
people which are unfavorable to liberty, one of these 
black coats makes his assault in open day, & demolishes 
the labours of a select convention ; another works in the 
dark, & succeeds by sap. Well, let him take care to 
keep behind the curtain & not venture to peep, lest we 
should catch a sight of his phiz & cook both him & his 
egg till they are quite hard & past feeling. But all this 
is wandering from the point, for I mean earnestly to re- 
quest the loan of your MS. History, to be brought by 
our common friend & carrier, the ingenious M r Hazard, 
who will answer for its being safely returned ; & so leav- 
ing you to have your laugh out, I bid you adieu, & pre- 
sent my respects to your good lady, & say totidem Mtteris. 
Your sincere friend & very humble servant, 

William Gordon. 

I leave it with Hazard to give you the history of our 
present Convention proceedings, which bid fair & yield 
me comfortable hopes. 

* Rev. William Gordon was an Englishman by birth, and came to this country in 1770. 
In July, 1772, he was ordained as minister of the Third Church in Roxbury (Jamaica Plain). 
During the Revolution he took an active part in public affairs, and at one time was chaplain 
to the Provincial Congress. In 1786 he returned to England, and two years later published 
his " History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment of the Independence of the United 
States," the work by which he is now best known. He died in Ipswich, England, Oct. 19, 
1807. — Eds. 



Reverend M r Belknap, Dover. Honored by M r Treadwell, who will be 
so kind as to forward it as soon as may be. 

Boston, October 20, 1779. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — The short notice received of M r 
Tread well's going & the variety of occupations which 
at once seize hold of me prevent my writing anything 
w ch can even look like a letter. At my desire, you are 
sent for to officiate at my ordination. I beg you to come. 
Don't bring any delegates, — not above one to be sure. 
I wish that could be D r Green. The day after ordination 
will be Fast, the next Sabbath Communion. I must in 
some measure depend upon you. Perhaps I can ex- 
change on the Fast. And if you could preach something 
occasional the Lord's day succeeding, in the morning be- 
fore communion, somewhat in the liberal way about the 
[word cut out], I should like it well. Don't Ml to come, nor 
to remember me to all friends at Dover, Ruthy, & the 

Old Mother Thayer is dead. We are likely to be 
starved thro'out Boston. Never such a scarcity of pro- 
visions. My brother Andrew is in town. We had a 
collection for him at our church last Sabbath, 1027<£ 

There is a rumour just now that Count D'Estaing is 
at the Hook. So many reports have there been of the 
like nature that I am ready to say, Credat Jndeus, &c. 

Yrs. affectionately, 

John Eliot. 



To the Parish Selectmen of Dover. 

March 7, 1777. 

Gent n , — It is at all times very disagreeable to me to 
make complaints ; but that confidence which I have in 
the candor & kindness of the people of this parish en- 
courages me, tho' with extreme reluctance, to desire them 
to consider the increase of my family & the dearness of 
some of the necessaries of life, both of which have ren- 
dered it impossible for me to live on the salary which both 
they & myself at first expected would be sufficient. 

I am sensibly affected with the sufferings of the coun- 
try, & am willing to bear even a large share of the public 
burden ; but I trust the parish must be convinced that 
without some assistance from them I shall be obliged to 
go deeply into debt, without any prospect of payment, 
which is a most discouraging circumstance to every body, 
& especially to one the proper business of whose station 
has so little connexion with the things of this world, & 
whose attention ought to be chiefly directed to matters 
of more importance. 

Gent n , it always has been & is now far from my desire 
to enrich myself or my family at the expence of this 
people ; all I ask for is such a subsistance as shall enable 
me to maintain with propriety the character of a Gospel 
minister, one part of which is that he must be " given to 
hospitality"; and this if done will be as honourable to 
them as comfortable to me. 

* Dr. Belknap not only preserved with great care the originals of all the papers con- 
nected with his difficulties with the Dover church, but he also made several transcripts of 
them, for what purpose is not evident. The votes here printed are thus copied on four 
sheets of paper stitched together, and indorsed by him, "Parish Votes from 1777 to 1779," 
and in another place " Parish Mutters." The whole copy is in the handwriting of Dr. 
Belknap ; but the signature of the Parish Clerk to the attestation is an autograph. — Eds. 


I beg you will make known my mind on this subject to 
the parish in such manner as you think most proper, & 

am, Gent n , 

Y r most hble. serv fc , 

Jeremy Belknap. 

Notice is hereby given to the parishioners of the First 
Parish in Dover that an annual meeting of said parish- 
ioners is to be holden at their meeting house on Thursday, 
27 th March current, at 2 a clock afternoon. To choose 
all parish officers for the year ensuing that may be neces- 
sary. Also to hear the request of our Rev d Pastor about 
making provision for his more comfortable subsistence in 
future, as he finds his salary is not sufficient to support 
his increasing family, & while many necessaries of life 
bear so much higher price than heretofore. His request 
will be laid before the meeting. All persons concerned 
are desired to attend at time & place aforesaid. 

By order of y e Wardens. 

Nath 1 Cooper, P. Clerk. 

Dover, March 15, 1777. 

At an annual parish meeting holden March 27, 1777, & 
by adjournment May 26, 1777, & by another adjournment 
June 9 th , & by another adjournment June 10 th , 1777. 

Voted, that a present be made to our Rev d Pastor. 

Voted, that a present of twent}' pounds be delivered 
to our Rev d Pastor as soon as may be by the Parish Se- 
lectmen of said Parish agreeable to his request laid before 
the meeting;. 

To tJte Wardens of the First Parish in Dover : — 

We, the subscribers, shew that since the necessaries & 
conveniences of life are disposed of at such enhanced 
prices from what they were when our Rev d Pastor was 


settled, 'tis plain his salary does by no means answer his 
out goings. Therefore we desire that a meeting of the 
parish may be called that the matter may be considered, 
& something voted for his ample support during the 
unsteady prices of things, or for the year last past only, 
as the convened shall think best, & you '11 oblige y r fellow 
parishioners & humble servants. 
Dover, Dec r . 31, 1777. 

Thomas Shannon. Tho s Wk. Waldron. 

Otis Baker. Stephen Evans. 

Timothy White. Nehemiah Kimbal. 

W M Watson. James Young. 

Nath l Cooper. Ichabod Horn. 

At a meeting of the parishioners legally warned &iield 
January 12, 1778. 

Voted, that a grant of sixty pounds, Lawful Money, be 
made to our Rev d Pastor for his better support this pres- 
ent year, 1777, agreeable to a petition of a' number of the 
parishioners for that purpose. 

To the Parish Selectmen in Dover : — 

Finding by experience that the late vote of the parish 
granting me sixty pounds is insufficient to answer the end 
in view, disagreeable to many persons, & likely to create 
difficulties w T hicb I would wish to avoid, after returning 
my thanks to those who promoted that measure for their 
good intentions therein, I am under a necessity of de- 
siring you to call the parish together again to consult with 
me, & agree upon some method of helping me out of present 
difficulties which may be more generally acceptable & more 
likely to answer the proposed end ; and also to consider of 
some way to prevent the like difficulties for the future. And 
I particularly desire that there may be a full meeting. 

Y r humble servant, 

Jeremy Belknap. 


At a meeting of the parishioners held Feb y 23, 1778. 

Voted, that the grant of sixty pounds voted our Rev d 
Pastor, Jan. 12, be reconsidered at his request, & the 
money be collected for the benefit of the Parish. 

N. B. The difficulties w cb our Rev d Pastor labours 
under (as mentioned in his letter to y e Selectmen) were 
under consideration & further deferred till y e next annual 

At an annual parish meeting, March 26, 1778. 

Voted, that Col. John Waldron, Cap* John Gage, M r John 
B m Hanson, M r Ephraim Ham, Ensign Andrew Torr, M r 
Sam 1 Kielle, & M r Aaron Wingate be a committee to 
draught a subscription paper in order to know how much 
each person will give to our Rev d Pastor as a consideration 
for the depreciation of money the year past, k make report at 
the adjournment of the meeting. 

Evasion i N. B. The above vote passed in lieu of consider- 
ing of some method of helping our pastor in future. 

Met according to adjournment July 13, 1778. 

The committee appointed to collect something for our 
Rev d Pastor by way of subscription not appearing to make 
report, a motion was made to dissolve the meeting. Ac- 
cordingly a vote passed to dissolve the same, & the 
Moderator declared it to be dissolved. 

To the Wardens of the First Parish in Dover : — 

Gent n , — As it is about the time for making the parish 
rates, & as the necessaries & conveniencies of life are at 
such exorbitant prices, we wish you before said rates are 
issued to notify a parish meeting for the purpose of voting 
a sum sufficient for the honourable & easy support of our 
Rev d Pastor this present year, with room for the convened, 
if they think fit, to add something for the deficiencies of the 


year 1777, & it is hoped that the matter will be considered 
as worthy the attention of every individual, & no com- 
plaint arise on account of any proceed ure at said meeting 
A should neglect attending as usual. We think con- 
vening of the parishioners by a constable rather prefera- 
ble to y e method of notifying at y e door that all may ^ op- 
portunity to speak and act freely on y e matter, which is 
wished to be the case by Gent n , 

Y r hum. servants, 
Dover, July 15, 1778. Tho s Wk. WalbrON. 

Wm Waldron. Otis Baker. 

Step n Evans. Nath l Ham. 

Nath l Cooper. Jon a Gage. 

At a meeting of the parishioners legally warned by a 
constable, pursuant to a warrant for that purpose, Dover, 
July 20, 1778. 

Voted, that a sum be granted to our Rev d Pastor for 
the year 1778, agreeable to a petition for that purpose. 
Several sums were proposed & put to vote, but not pass- 
ing to a vote, therefore 

Voted, that the former vote for granting a sum to our 
Rev d Pastor be reconsidered. 

Then the meeting was dissolved by the Moderator. 

At an annual parish meeting, March 31, 1779. 

On reading a petition from John Gage, Esq., & others 
for making a grant to our Rev d Pastor, Voted, to choose 
a committee to wait on our Rev d Pastor to consult with him 
concerning some method for his support. 

Voted, that the Parish Wardens be y e committee, & 
make report in half an hour to this meeting, at which time 
this meeting was adjourned. 

Met according to adjournment, & y e committee made 
report they had waited on M r Belknap & the time fixed 
was so short they could not do any thing. Then it was 


agreed the meeting should be adjourned to Monday, 
the 5 th day of April, at 12 a clock, & y e same committee 
to wait on our Ilev d Pastor again, & make report thereof 
at the adjournment. 

Met according to adjournment Monday, 5 April, 1779. 
The committee waited on our Rev d Pastor & made re- 
port of his plan in writing for his future support* 

Voted, not to act on M r Belknap's plan presented 

Evasion 2d. by the committee to said meeting at present, but 

to let it lay. 

Voted, to make M r Belknap a present of four hundred 

pounds, to be paid by the Parish Selectmen as soon as 

may be. 

To the Parish in Dover : — 

Gent n , — At your last parish meeting you voted me 
four hundred pounds, which I accepted as a consideration 
for the deficiency of my last years salary, & it has been paid, 
about one half in Continental bills & the other half I 
thought myself bound in justice to take off the rate list 
from the names of such persons as paid me the full value 
of their last year's taxes. 

* Amon£ the Belknap Papers is a rough draft, without date, of a- letter embodying 
"what I desire ye Selectmen to report to y e Parish on their adjournment," which is prob- 
ably the original draft of the "plan in writing" here mentioned. In it Mr. Belknap 
says: 'If it is your desire to fix upon a plah for my support founded in equity I con- 
ceive it is very easy to do it, & the plan w h I have tho't of is this. Every year in the 
month of December the Parish Selectmen may meet with me, & by mutual consent so 
much of the principal necessaries of life as were equal to one half of my salary for-the 
seven first vears of my ministry may be calculated accords to the then current prices, & 
this sum doubled will be equal to what my salary ought to be according to contract. But 
it will be necessary for you to supply me annually with 20 cords of wood & provide con- 
venient pasturing for 2 cows & a horse, w oh I shall allow you for at y e stipulated prices." 
At the end of this rough draft is a memorandum of prices, as follows: "Corn at 3 6 p r 
bushi; Wood at 12' p' cord; TTay at .10 p r ton ; Beef at T-}\ p' lb.; Pasture at 30/ for a 
horse & 20 for a cow." An explanation is added: "The rates to be made in2columns; ye 
1 st column to be each man's share of £100 & y e other each man's share of ye sum y* bW be 
calculated as an equivalent to it, so yt those who par their rates in produce accords to ye 
old prices may go by ye former column, & those who pay in money by ye later. This 
method of mak* y e rates to continue until y e above mentioned necessary articles shall be 
reduced to their former prices." — Eds. 


A proposal was also made from me by your committee 
for settling my salary upon a better foundation than a sinking 
currency ; but instead of acting upon it, you voted " to let 
it lay." It has accordingly laid for six months, & I think 
it is time that you should take the matter again into con- 
sideration, in order that some reasonable & equitable method 
may be agreed upon whereby I may Jcnoiv what I am to 
expect from you for my support, not only for this present 
year, but for the future. 

What I have already recieved, or may recieve of any 
individuals, will be allowed them according to its just 

Jeremy Belknap. 

Dover, Sep. 30, 1779. 

At a parish meeting, Monday 11 th October, 1779. 

Voted, to choose a committee to consist of seven per- 
sons, viz. : Deacon Shadrach Hodgdon, Otis Baker, Esq., 
John Gage, Esq., John Kielle, Aaron Wingate, Ephraim 
Ham, & John Wentworth, Esq., to consult with the Rev d 
M r Belknap on the subject of his request taken into con- 
sideration at this meeting, & to make report thereof at 
the adjournment. 

Voted, that this meeting be adjourned to Monday, 8 th of 
Nov., 2 a clock, afternoon. 

Met according to adjournment. The committee made 
a verbal report, as M r Belknap was absent they thought it 
not proper to clo anything till his return, & y e meeting 
was adjourned to Monday, 22 d Nov r , 1779, at 2 a clock, 

Met according to adjournment. 

Voted, to make an addition to M r Belknap's 
salary of fourteen hundred pounds for the pres- Evasion3d - 
ent year. 


Voted, to impower the Selectmen to hire the above four- 
teen hundred pounds, & tax it on the next year's rates. 

The foregoing copies & minutes of sundry matters 
transacted in the parish of Dover from March 7, 1777, to 
November 22, 1779, contained in fourteen pages, are 
faithfully extracted from y e Parish Records. 

Attest, Benj a Peirce, P. O 

Form of the Receipt given to the Parish after the Grant o/*£1400. 

Whereas this Parish did on the 22 d of Nov r last vote 
me the sum of £1400, in addition to the sum of £100, & 
whereas sundry persons belonging to this Parish did pay 
their respective proportions of the said £100 according 
to the full & just value, in consequence thereof the Par- 
ish is hereby discharged of the sum of £515.9, part of 
the afores d sum of £1400. 

J. B. 

The Rev d M r Belknap, at Dover. Favored by M r Webster. 

Your letter, dear Sir, has turned my thoughts to a 
subject which I confess I have attended to and examined 
so slightly in the problematical way, that I should be 
almost loth to give you my thoughts till I had leisure 
to ripen and digest them better, were it not that I 
am unwilling to miss of the first opportunity of testi- 
fying my readiness for all the offices of friendship that 
are in my power. I have been informed, indeed, that 
such a universal redemption of mankind as shall issue in 
universal salvation has been contended for by some, and 

* Rev. Moses Hemmenwav, D. D., was born in Framingham, Mass., Sept. 15, 1735, and 
graduated at Harvard C< liege in 1755. In 1759 he was settled over the church in Wells, 
District of Maine, and he died there April 6, 1811. He was held by his contemporaries in 
high esteem as a the* Ionian, and was the author of several controversial publications. (See 
Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit, vol. i. pp. 541-547.) — Eds. 


has of late especially been favoured by numbers in dif- 
ferent parts of this country. But I have had very 
little opportunity of informing myself in what manner 
this opinion is stated and explained by its advocates ; by 
w* reasons & arguments it is maintained ; what answers 
are given to the many obvious objections to which it 
seems liable. I have read nothing that has been writ- 
ten in favour of it; have had no conversation upon the 
subject with any that were of this persuasion, or that 
appeared to understand the matter well. The contrary 
doctrine, you know, has been received with so general a 
consent among us, that, amidst all the doctrinal disputes 
that have been moved, this seems scarce to have been 
called in question till lately. If therefore what I may 
suggest upon the subject should seem trite & vulgar, as 
I am apt to think it will, to a person of your discern- 
ment, who has thought with attention on the subject, you 
will, I trust, easily account for it and excuse it. 

How this scheme which you mention might appear to 
me if it was fully and fairly represented, with the reasons 
on which it is grounded, I know not. I must confess that 
the commonly received doctrine, which supposes that the 
greater part of mankind will be fixed in a state of never- 
ceasing, extreme, & total depravity & misery, opens to 
view such an amazing scene of natural & moral evil as I 
cannot bear to contemplate with a close & realizing ap- 
prehension. Nature shrinks from the prospect with re- 
luctant horror. And such thoughts as these are apt to 
arise : " Can these things indeed be so ? can such vast & 
extensive evils, running parallel with eternity itself, be 
the final issue and result of His government in whom in- 
finite power is joined with infinite goodness, whose good- 
ness and mercy are so celebrated in the revelation he 
has given of himself in his holy oracles, who retaineth 
not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy?" 
And I hope that I may say, without offending my Maker 



or the generation of his people, that if it could be found 
consistent with the honour of God, the wise, holy, & 
good ends for which he created & governs the world, 
that all evil, natural & moral, should be intirely, finally, 
& forever abolished, and sin, death, & hell be so swal- 
lowed up in victory as to be no more, I could not but 
exceedingly rejoice at it. Yea, further, were I satisfied 
that such an entire extinction of all evil were possible, 
so possible as to imply in it no repugnancy to the 
nature & perfections of God, I could not but strongly 
hope for it, considering how contrary moral evil is in 
itself to his holiness, & how agreable it must be to in- 
finite goodness & mercy that happiness prevail to the 
highest degree & in the widest extent possible in those 
who are capable subjects of it. And could any one point 
out to me in the word of God any good & solid founda- 
tion for such a hope, I should think myself bound in 
duty to God, and from a benevolent regard to my fel- 
low creatures, most gladly & thankfully to embrace it & 
acquiesce in it. 

But I must also confess that it is quite beyond my 
limited & feeble faculties to determine with clearness & 
certainty upon such high points as What is the grand & 
ultimate end aimed at in the creation & government of the world? 
Whether we mag not be mistaken in the judgment ive are apt to 
form concerning tvhat is the best & most desirable issue and event 
of things ? and also concerning the ivay & means in which the 
great designs of creation & providence mag be best accomplished ? 
We seem to be altogether incompetent judges of these 
matters, any farther than we have the light of Divine 
revelation to instruct & guide us. And tho' we are apt to 
imagine with ourselves in what ways the ends aimed at in 
the government of the world might be most happily an- 
swered, yet our reveries are indeed but random guesses 
in the dark any further than they are conformed to this 
revelation. That sin and misery should rise and prevail 

1779.] MOSES HEMMENWAY. 163 

to such a height, and continue forever in the creation & un- 
der the governm* of the greatest & best of beings, is apt to 
appear very strange, yea, absolutely incredible to some, — 
altogether unsuitable to the holy & benevolent designs 
which are to be accomplished. But perhaps we shall not 
find it easy to shew why the entrance of sin & misery into the 
world at first should not be thought as strange & incredible under 
the government of God. Our reasonings a priori from the 
Divine perfections, and from those ends which we should 
suppose that God had in view in the creation & government 
of the world, would lead us to conclude that sin & misery 
should never enter, much less continue in the world so 
long as we know that it has. We know from undeniable 
fact that it is not disagreable to the Divine character and 
the ends of his government that sin & misery should 
take place among his creatures & prevail long and to a 
prodigious degree. There have been and are an exceed- 
ing great multitude of sinful creatures, who are making 
themselves vile and miserable in this world by drinking in 
iniquity like water. And how can we know/rom any such 
reasonings a priori, but that sin and misery may remain 
forever & rise to the utmost height which any have sup- 
posed will be in the state of damnation? The Divine ho- 
liness & goodness have not prevented the entrance of evil, 
and its prevailing thus far; and very important & ex- 
cellent ends have been answered by this means. What 
good reason have we, then, to conclude from the moral 
character of the Deity that sinful creatures may not be 
fixed forever in a state of natural & moral evil, and very 
important & valuable ends answered by it ? 

The infinitely wise Governor of the world will no 
doubt accomplish the best end by the best means, but it 
seems to me that we cannot prove it to be any more in- 
consistent with wisdom or goodness to leave creatures in 
a state of sin & misery a long time than to suffer them to 
fall into such a state at all. Yea, what evidence have 


we that the eternal damnation of impenitent sinners may 
not be the fittest means of accomplishing that end which 
infinite wisdom judges to be the best? If sin and misery 
had never entred into the world, perhaps the wise[s]t 
creature in the universe would have thought that infinite 
power, wisdom, & goodness would have prevented these 
evils, and confirmed all rational & moral agents in a state 
of holiness & happiness. Such a creature might possibly 
have thought that it could not be the design of the wise 
& benevolent Governor of the world to leave creatures 
to fall into sin & misery, to lose their love to himself, the 
best of beings, to have their hearts turned & set against 
him & his holy will. Yet we know that sin and misery 
have taken place & prevailed to a great degree. The 
existence of evil in the creation is an undeniable fact ; it 
is therefore certain that it is agreable to the moral char- 
acter of the Deity to permit evil to enter and prevail far 
in his creation. This is not inconsistent with the end & 
design of his moral government. What assurance, then, 
can we have, that it may not be as consistent with his 
perfections and the ends of his moral government to con- 
tinue sinful creatures in existence forever, as examples 
of punitive justice and monuments of his hatred of sin ? 
Indeed, if he has revealed his purpose to be otherwise, 
that may abundantly satisfy us. But it seems to me that 
we are too ignorant of the ends and designs which the 
Divine Being may have in the creation & government of 
the world, and of the fittest means to answer those ends, 
to be able to determine the eternal damnation of sinners 
to be inconsistent therewith, unless God himself shall 
declare it to be inconsistent. 

The eternal damnation of sinners involves in it so 
much evil, both natural and moral, that I should think it 
absolutely incredible under the Divine government, unless 
it were supposed to be not only consistent with the end & de- 
sign of His moral government, but also absolutely nca tarn 

1779.] MOSES HEMMENWAY. 165 

in order to the accomplishment of this design. If you 
should enquire what necessity there is for the eternal 
damnation of sinners, I should readily own myself too ig- 
norant to undertake to answer it. I know there are many 
who will talk as confidently without book upon these points 
as if they had been privy counsellors to the Deity in form- 
ing the plan of all his operations; and will lay down their 
own presumptions & hypotheses as certain & evident 
axioms to reason upon. I would not be guilty of that 
temerity which I dislike in others, but would modestly 
propose the following queries : May not the ultimate 
end of the creation and government of the world be the 
glory of God, as displayed especially in communicating 
holiness & happiness to moral agents ? If so, then does 
not the holiness and happiness of creatures consist chiefly 
in the knowledge, love, & enjoyment of God ? Is it not 
then necessary, in order that the great design of the 
divine operations be answered, that God should mani- 
fest himself & his perfections to his creatures ? And the 
clearer & fuller manifestation he makes of himself, the 
more his glory & the holiness & happiness of his people 
are advanced. Did not the entrance of sin into the world 
occasion a further manifestation of the divine perfections 
and character than had been before? How could the 
divine justice, hatred of sin, mercy & Ion gsuffe ring to 
sinners, & sovereignty in the exercises of mercy, — how 
could these perfections have been known by & manifested 
to creatures by their proper exercises, effects, & examples 
unless there were sinful and miserable objects ? Might 
it not therefore be consistent & agreable to the wise ends 
of God's moral government to suffer sin & misery to 
enter the world, that he might take occasion of manifest- 
ing himself more fully & clearly than could otherwise 
have been done, and so increasing the knowledge, love, 
holiness, & happiness of his kingdom ? And may not the 
eternal damnation of sinners serve to display some part 


of the divine character which might not otherwise appear 
in so strong a light? If you ask, What divine perfection 
is manifested in the eternal punishment of sinners which 
is not manifested to the greatest advantage in the obedi- 
ence & sufferings of Christ ? I answer, The sovereignty of 
God in the exercises of his mercy. If all mankind should 
be finally saved, there would be no instances or examples 
to shew that he has mercy on whom he will have mercy, 
and has a right to chuse some of his sinful creatures to 
be the objects of mercy, and leave others to perish for- 
ever in their sins according to their deserts. If what is 
intimated in these queries be, I do not say certain, but 
even probable or credible, then it is probable or credible 
that the eternal punishment of the wicked may be quite 
agreable to God's moral character & the designs of his 
moral government. But be this as it may, I see not how 
we can argue that eternal punishments are inconsistent 
with the divine character & the ends of his government, 
unless we proceed upon such grounds as would infer such 
an inconsistency in the entrance of sin & misery into the 
world, & their prevailing so far as they have. 

As to the end of punishment, whether the reformation 
of the offenders may not be the design of the punish- 
ments of the future state as well as the present ? I an- 
swer, it does not appear that the punishments inflicted 
in this world are always designed for the reformation of 
the offender. I instance, in the overthrow of Pharaoh 
and his host in the Red Sea ; numberless other instances 
might be produced. All the arguments that are brought 
from the Scriptures against the final salvation of those 
who die in their sins are so many arguments that the 
punishments of the future state are not designed for 
their reformation. These arguments, I confess, appear 
to me of so much weight that I know not how to get 
over them. I will hint a few things which seem not 
easily reconcileable with the doctrine of universal salva- 

1779.] MOSES HEMMENWAY. 167 

tion. Our Saviour says that the sin against the Holy 
Ghost shall never be forgiven, neither in this world nor 
in the world to come. And of Judas he says, It had been 
good for him if he had never been born. And we read 
that he who, being often reproved, hardenth his neck, 
shall be suddenly destroyed, and that without remedy. In 
the original it is, He shall be broken to pieces & there 
shall be no healing. And at the day of judgment we 
shall receive according to the deeds done in the body, 
which seems to imply that there is no state of probation 
after death for those who have lived and died in their 
sins. And that the future jud[g]ment is after the resur- 
rection seems implied in what we read in Rev. 20 : The 
sea gave up the dead that were therein, & death & hades 
delivered up the dead that were in them, and they were 
judged, &c. The Scriptures also distinguish those that 
are saved & those that perish, and oppose them to each 
other in such a manner as seems to exclude all those that 
perish from the hopes of being saved. Christ's sheep, 
for whom he laid down his life, & to whom he gives 
eternal life, shall never perish. Consequently they of 
whom the Scriptures testify that they perish are not 
Christ's sheep for whom he died, and to whom he gives 
eternal life. The everlasting fire to which the wicked are 
to be doomed is the fire of hell, which our Saviour says 
shall never be quenched or go out, which seems to shew that 
an endless duration is intended. And the everlasting 
punishment of the wicked and the eternal life of the 
righteous are expressed by the same word, aionios, in the 
same sentence, and it seems but reasonable to conclude 
from hence that they are of equal & endless duration. 
David tells Solomon that, if he forsake the Lord, He will 
cast him off forever, which expression seems to be ex- 
plained, Psal. 77, Will the Lord cast off forever, & will he 
be favourable no more? They who are saved are spoken of 
as chosen & elect, which signifies a select number taken 


from the rest of mankind. Their names are said to be 
written in the book of life before the foundation of the 
world, and they were chosen in Christ before the founda- 
tion of the world. Now election implies a pretention of 
those who are not elected. And tho' the Scriptures speak 
of the resurrection of the unjust, it is a resurrection of 
damnation, opposed to the resurrection of life. And our 
Saviour teaches us that at the end of the world he will 
sever the righteous from the wicked, and gather out of 
his kingdom them that do iniquity and cast them into a 
furnace of fire, and it seems too forced a construction to 
pretend, as I have heard that some have done, that this is 
to be understood of the sinful actions of men, which are 
to be burnt up in hell, when the text speaks plainly of 
persons. I might add those places where it is said of the 
wicked that the smoke of their torment ascend eth up for- 
ever and ever (eis tons aionas toon aionoon) ; and tho' 
the critics observe truly that a limited duration is some- 
times to be understood where these terms are used, yet I 
think it cannot be denied that the same forms of expres- 
sion are commonly used where an endless duration is 
manifestly intended. Nor can I find that the Hebrew 
and Greek languages had any stronger or more deter- 
minate words by which to express the idea of everlasting 
duration than we find used in the Scripture concerning 
the state of future punishment. For not only the words 
aionios, gnolam, vagned, are used, but there are also nega- 
tive expressions denying that some sins shall be forgiven, 
or that the fire of hell shall be quenched. And it ap- 
pears from the writings of the Fathers of the three first 
centuries that they understood these Scriptural expres- 
sions in this manner, particularly Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, 
Tertullian, Minutius Felix, Arnobius, Lactantius, tho' it 
must be owned that some of them sometimes speak 
doubtfully ; and Origen in particular, it seems, was of a 
different opinion, which was generally disapproved and 

1779.] MOSES HEMMENWAY. 169 

censured by Christians. Yet Grotius doubts whether Ori- 
gen was really of the opinion which is commonly supposed. 
He suspects his writings are interpolated, and says that, 
if he really taught the doctrine of the final salvation of 
wicked men & devils, he was not constant in asserting it, 
but in his exposition of the 25 of Matthew discourses of 
the future punishment agreably to the common doctrine. 
And the general consent among Christians upon the arti- 
cle of everlasting punishment shews how these Scriptural 
expressions have generally been understood. 

Now if we find reason from the Scriptures to believe that 
the punishment of the wicked in the future state excludes 
all hope of their salvation, (and indeed I know not how 
to reconcile the contrary scheme of doctrine with the 
Scriptures,) we may then proceed to consider whether 
Paul's words in which he says that he has hope in God, 
that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of y e 
just & of the unjust, imply anything inconsistent with it. 
I confess you have observed a difficulty in the words 
which I had not attended to, but which I think hig[h]ly 
worthy of attention ; that is, how the resurrection of the 
unjust could be an object of hope, supposing they are 
raised to be put away to an endless and aggravated pun- 
ishment ? Is it agreable to that benevolence w T e ought 
to have, to hope for the resurrection of the wicked, sup- 
posing their resurrec[tion] will prove no benefit to them, 
but occasion their greater misery ? Here you will re- 
member that our Saviour says, that they that have done 
good will come forth out of their graves to the resurrec- 
tion of life, and they that have done evil to the resur- 
rection of damnation. The Greek word, indeed, is criseos. 
But you know that it sometimes signifies condemnation. 
And its being placed in opposition to life seems to be a 
good reason for understanding as it is translated. If this 
point then is fixed, that the resurrection of the unjust is 
a resurrection of damnation, will it not be as difficult to 

170 THE BELKNAP PAPERS. * [1779. 

suppose that the wicked will receive any benefit by it, as 
to suppose that Paul should hope for it when he knew 
that it would increase their misery ? Whether we can 
solve the difficulty you mention or not, damnation is the 
consequence of their resurrection, for what appears at 
present, from our Saviour's words and from many other 
texts of Scripture which have been glanced at. I observe 
further, that Paul says that the Jews allowed that resur- 
rection of the dead which he hoped for. But it seems 
they did not expect such a resurrection of all men as 
would issue in universal salvation. The question that 
was put to our Saviour, " Are there few that be saved ? " 
shews plainly that universal salvation was not expected ; 
and our Saviour's answer seems quite contrary to such 
a supposition. But the knot still remains, Could the 
resurrection of the unjust be the object of Paul's hope? 
What shall we say to that ? I met with a remark of Gro- 
tius which I thought at first might soften the knot. He 
says, " The Hellenist Jews were wont to use the word 
eA7n-5, hope, to signify trust." Accordingly, I rendred 
the text thus: "I trust in God, I confide in his power, 
word, and promise that there will be a resurrection of the 
dead, both of the just and of the unjust." But without 
insisting on this, I would rather say, the object of Paul's 
hope was not the resurrection of the unjust simply and 
abstractly considered, but it was the resurrection of the 
dead in general. The resurrection of the dead is the 
object of a Christian's hope. It is on the whole desira- 
ble, notwithstanding the resurrection of the wicked to 
shame and contempt may not be that consideration which 
renders the prospect of it desirable. If a Christian in 
the full assurance of hope should say, " I hope I shall 
soon die and go to be forever with the Lord, death will 
be gain to me," we should readily understand his mean- 
ing to be that the object of his hope was not merely & 
abstractly to die. Nature rather shrinks from death in 

1779.] MOSES HEMMENWAY. 171 

itself considered. But that, upon the whole, death will 
be gain to him, and so upon the whole it is desirable, 
notwithstanding it may be attended with some circum- 
stances which in themselves are not agreable. So the 
resurrection of the dead in general is upon the whole a 
fit object of hope, because of the great good that will 
arise from it, although it should be supposed that this 
circumstance, viz, that it will be a resurrection of damna- 
tion to the wicked, be not properly an object. If you 
doubt whether the general resurrection of the dead be a 
proper object of hope to a good man, because it will be 
unhappy to the wicked, I would ask whether that such 
a man would chuse upon the whole that there would be 
no resurrection, (if it might be left to his choice,) rather 
than that there should be a general resurrection of the 
just and the unjust. If not, then the resurrection of the 
dead as it [is] revealed in the Scriptures, comprehending 
both the just and the unjust, is upon the whole an object 
of hope to a good man, notwithstanding the misery it 
will bring with it to the wicked. I would observe further, 
that it is the opinion of some, D r Bellamy in particular, 
that a general resurrection is obtained for mankind by 
the mediation of Christ, and is to be considered as a com- 
mon favour granted to all as inferring a higher capacity 
of happiness, tho' the wicked by their impenitency lose 
all the benefit and advantage of this as well as of all 
other capacities and privileges they have, so that they 
prove to them only capacities of sin and misery. A res- 
urrection may in itself be considered as a favour to all 
men, as well as their being, rational faculties, the immor- 
tality of the soul, &c, which, tho' most important and 
desirable capacities and prerogatives, will in the end 
issue in such a state of wret[ch]edness to the wicked that 
it had been good for them if they had never been born. 
According to this opinion Paul's words in 1 Cor. 15, As in 
Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made [alive], are to 


be understood as spoken of all mankind, without excep- 
tion. The opinion more commonly received among us, 
you know, is that the Apostle is treating of the resurrec- 
tion of life which is derived to all the redeemed from Jesus 
Christ, the 2 d Adam, as death was derived from the first 
to all his natural posterity. But I digress. If what has 
been suggested seem not sufficiently to solve the difficulty 
you mentioned, I would query further whether those who 
die in their sins are to be considered as objects of benevo- 
lence after death has finished their probationary state, 
and they are lost beyond all hopes of recovery, as has 
been commonly supposed. If the punishment of the 
wicked be right in itself, as being justly deserved, if it 
be necessary to vindicate the Divine honour, and answer 
the wisest, best, most desirable and benevolent purposes 
with regard to the universal system, is it not agreable to 
a wise, rational, and extensive benevolence to hope that 
these ends will be answered, though it be by their final 
ruin ? Suppose a kingdom or commonwealth should get 
into a state of extreme disorder, that the sons of violence 
and injustice should carry all before them by lawless 
might, and oppress & persecute all that would not join 
with them, would it be any way incon[si]stent with be- 
nevolence for a man to hope that what obstructs the free 
course of justice will soon be removed, and magistrates 
will -again be a terror to evil doers and a praise to those 
that do well, though the consequence of this will be the 
untimely death of some that are overmuch wicked ? If 
justice, the honour of the Divine government, and the 
interest of God's kingdom all require the punishment of 
the winked, should not a benevolent man acquiesce in it ? 
Are not the saints, the holy apostles and prophets, called 
upon to rejoice when God shall avenge their blood upon 
Babylon ? And are not they represented as saying, Hal- 
lelujah, salvation & glory and honour and power unto 
the Lord our God, for true and righteous are his judg- 

1779.] MOSES HEMMENWAY. 173 

ments, for he hath judged the great whore. And again 
they said, Hallelujah, and her smoke rose up forever and 
ever. If the honour of God and the interests of his 
kingdom require that they who die in their sins should 
be punished with everlasting destruction, are the wicked 
after death to be considered as objects of benevolence ? 
And may not tnis be the reason why those who are 
known to have committed the sin unto death are not to 
be prayed for ? 

Upon the whole, dear Sir, I could gladly embrace the 
scheme of universal salvation, if I could find a good founda- 
tion for it in the Scriptures. I could hope that all will be 
finally happy and holy, if I coidd reconcile it with the Scrip- 
tures. There is something in the supposition that will 
strike a benevolent heart very agreably. And I doubt 
not but that good men may be very favourably disposed 
towards it. The late D T Pemberton was so, as I have 
been credibly informed. But at present I am unable to 
make out the consistency of this opinion with the Scrip- 
tures. If sin and misery shall ever be finally abolished, 
I should think that this will rather be by the annihilation 
than the salvation of the wicked. That would indeed be 
an everlasting destruction and punishment, & perishing, 
&c. I know this supposition is liable to objections, but 
they are much less in my opinion than the scheme of 
universal salvation is pressed with. 

If you should be able, dear Sir, to pick any thing out 
of this heap of indigested thoughts that may be of any 
use to you, or give you any assistance in your specula- 
tions, I shall be heartily glad of it. I will observe the 
hint upon the back of your letter, though I think there 
is nothing contained in it that could give offence to any 
person of a candid mind. I am willing to leave it to 
your prudence and discretion to dispose of these lines as 
you please. I should be willing to know in convenient 
time what you think of the hints I have given for the 


solution of your queries. In the mean time I am, with 
much respect and affection, 

Your friend & brother, 

Moses Hemmenway. 

Wells, Dec' 20, 1779. 

Rev d M r Belknap, Dover. To the care M r R'd Chamney, Portsmouth. 

Boston, January 26, 1780. 

Dear Sir, — Your two letters, which were very excel- 
lent and clever, reached me a considerable while after 
their date, and I should have done myself the pleasure 
to answer their contents had not the way been impassa- 
ble ever since I received them. For if there were no 
great gulphs between us, yet there have been such heaps 
of snow as could not be surmounted even by the posts. 
This hath occasioned such an irregularity that I know not 
when your last very short epistle arrived, or whether I 
shall be able to get this letter which I am now writing 
into the office. Perhaps it may reach \ou as soon after 
the date as either of yours have fell into my hands. 
The subject of them I have read with pleasure, have 
shewed them to D r Chauncy & M r Clarke. D! C. has 
offered me the perusal of the MSS. upon Restitution, & 
I will directly write out the passages you desired and 
anything else you may hereafter wish to peruse. I hope 
to be fully convinced of the sentiments advanced by the 
Doctor when I have read his work. I want to have the 
matter set in a Scriptural view, when perhaps I shall be 
persuaded fully .concerning this question: Whether a 
man of common sense, good discernment, solid under- 
standing, with an unprejudiced mind, should read the 
Greek Testament, especially the Evangelists, and upon 
giving his opinion should declare that this was the doc- 

1780.] JOHN ELIOT. 175 

trine there delivered ? I mean that the person should 
never be made acquainted that there ever was a dispute 
about it. Let me say thus much. It is fully mine opinion 
that he must fall into the scheme of Universal Restitution 
or Everlasting Destruction; for I cannot allow myself 
in thinking it myself, or in supposing any rational mind 
tempered with. benevolence can indulge the idea, that a 
perfect moral, government cannot exist but by the eternal 
torments of sinners. I am much pleased with what you 
have written against my scheme of Annihilation. I had 
rather believe the other doctrine, because it is more con- 
genial to the disposition of my soul, w ch is benevolent 
upon the whole ; and had I only a rational view of the 
matter I should adopt it. For here, altho' I may have 
some doubts, yet they do not arise to insuperable diffi- 
culties. What I want chiefly to be settled in is this. 
Without repentance & faith, or, in other words, without 
regeneration, we cannot enter into the kingdom of 
Heaven. How comes it to pass, then, that there is no 
mention made in Scripture of this transformation of the 
soul after the second death ? 

When I send you the paraphrase, &c, I will be more 
particular upon this matter, and send an extract from 
M r Bourn, who hath collected the texts of Scripture which 
favor the annihilation of sinners. In some future letters 
we may discuss the propriety of feeding the palate of the 
populace with this rich & dainty food, however luscious 
it may be to our taste. I hope M r H y * will be con- 
vinced of the beauty of the salva[tion of] mankind as 
exhibited by your correspondence. [I have] come to this 
resolution this evening, " that a fortnight shall never 
pass without my writing to you upon some topic or 
other." Farewell ; this for tonight. 

Public News. — I was told this evening that the post 

* Rev. Moses Hemmenway, D. D. See the next preceding letter. — Eds. 



had brought a certain account that Gen! Washington had 
taken Staten Island, with 800 men. 

Domestic Occurrences. — I am not married, nor like to 
be. Siah says little about the widow of Somersworth. 
Mungo here, &c. We are all well, & send love to you & 
Ruthy. Your brother Sam & wife join us. Andrew is 
well, fm. letters just received. My brother Sammy hath 
another daughter, 

Yrs. JonN Eliot. 

P. S. I advise you to act w T ith a determined spirit & 
resolution about a certain affair. More particular next 


Boston, March 29, [1780]. 

Rev? and dear Sir, — There has certainly been a 
great gulph fix'd between us this winter. I have not 
heard from you or any friends at a distance near 4 months, 
nor have I been out of the town of Boston. The dif- 
ficulty of sending has prevented me from indulging a 
disposition to write, which otherwise would have been 
manifested by considerable scribling. It is now corn- 
pleat winter weather. I am here in my study confined 
by a game leg ; my sister Sukey sick up stairs ; & every- 
thing around me looks melancholy. One comfort, — I 
have wood, & that lifts me up above my neighbours. 
How have you done this weather ? Or perhaps you have 
had less snow, & therefore not much difficulty to procure 
fuel. However, if you have been supplied anyhow I give 

y°" j°y- 

I sincerely renew my expressions of sympathy with 
you on account of } our very disagreable situation with 
your people. Wish the scene may be less deeply shaded 
than when you last wrote. I can only wish your people 
had more sense of your merit; and I am not alone 

1780.] JOHN ELIOT. 177 

in my prayers that you may be delivered from such a 
situation. I hope you received my last letter sent to 
Portsmouth by the post, — I forget the date, but think it 
was sent to the care of M r Champney. I have expe- 
rienced the benefit of my stable settlement with our 
congregation. They did not see fit to raise my salary 
from the sum it was first voted, altho' the agreement was 
to make up depreciation every three months. Before the 
fortnight expired after the three months were ended, I 
applied for my due. The deacons & others said I had 
better say nothing till after May meeting, when they 
would pay all together. I knew that in this case much 
would be set down to my loss ; and I therefore insisted 
upon the settlement before more time elapsed. I told 
them peremptorily, that, if they did not call the Society 
together, I would ; that I had kept firmly to my engage- 
ment, & only begged they would do the same. The 
consequence was they have done it, and I have now 
wherewithal to live on : otherwise, I must have been 
naked & starved. 

The town of Boston is really poor. If some brighter 
prospects do not open, it is my opinion that we cannot 
subsist. You are sensible how much depends upon our 
trade. Let this one instance of our going downwards 
convince you. An outward bound cargo cannot be pur- 
chased for the whole amount of the vessell & cargo re- 
turning safely to the wharfe. Thus the balance is against 
us, supposing no risk. What then can be the emolu- 
ments of trade when the vessells are so much exposed w ch 
go backwards & forwards, exposed to every danger from 
the ire of Neptune equally with the attacks of British 
cruisers. Many have perished on our coast this winter. 
Many widowed families add to the distress of the North 
End, who were in good circumstances before the com- 
mencement of this tedious season. Most of the ready 
money w ch was in the town the country people have 



drained, — such was the necessity of obtaining fuel at any 
price. One effect these things have upon all orders of 
men in the seaports, — a hearty wish for peace, which 
sentiment did not pervade the mobility till the present 
time. Did the country farmers feel like the Bostonian 
mechanics, I don't know what would be the consequence. 
Something comes into my mind w h was spoken by one of 
the latter order some time ago. " Let 's have peace," 
said he. " How shall we obtain it ? " " Why easily. 
When I go to market, I go to get meat as cheap as 
possible. But I don't come away empty. If they won't 
take my price, I give them theirs." From this instance 
we may judge what time of tide it is. 

The latest accounts from Europe make it appear as if 
the war w r ould last another year, at least. What our 
army are about at the southward, we know not. Great 
bets are laid about the Carolinas. It is generally thought 
that the British fleet is strong in the West Indies. Will 
not Ireland remain in statu quo? Gibralter still is supe- 
rior to the force of Spain. Holland looks on. Where will 
these commotions end ? Perhaps it is now the most im- . 
portant stage of the world from its being called out of 
darkness or chaos to the general conflagration. Amidst 
our private troubles I cannot but have some sublime 
thoughts that they are accompanied with such vast agi- 
tation and such important transactions. The soaring 
wing of human discernment trembles to survey the issue 
of this great contest. And when we search into futurity, 
the accounts we receive are vague, uncertain, & con- 
fused. But can we help contemplating ? Who is un- 
attentive, or without anxiety? Our private concerns & 
our public affairs are so critical, that to express our own 
feelings is only to tell others what are their sensations. 

But to turn our attention from the justlings & revolu- 
tions in the political world unto the harmony & beauty of 
y e moral system, let us not forget the particular subject 

1780.] JOHN ELIOT. 179 

of your last letter, as well as the matter of our conversa- 
tion, at several interviews. You w T ill please to observe 
that the scheme of annihilation is what I have declared 
that I never desire to believe, & to which I am now far 
from giving absolute credit. It is true that I am in 
doubt concerning the meaning of several texts of Scrip- 
ture, which appear to have such an implication. It is 
not agreable to y e grand & noble plan which y e rational 
mind would scetch out were it left to range at large into 
y e nature of things & draw conclusions concerning the 
being & perfections of the Divinity. But it is not for us 
to traverse the high priori road, except we take great heed^ 
to our steps. Here are also such great obstructions 
as not only impede the way, but entirely obscure the 
sight. You suppose that the annihilation plan reflects 
dishonor upon the great God, as implying imperfection 
of character. Should a defender of the scheme be called 
upon, perhaps he wld. thus argue : " When I look around 
the world, I find many things consistent with the excellen- 
cies of the Divine nature, which I should have supposed 
(had I reasoned from causes to effects, and not from 
effects to causes) not to be reconciled with the attributes 
of God. Why do the lillies, being arrayed in so much 
beauty, droop & die ? Why do thousands of seeds perish 
without opportunity to expand & bring forth their bud ? 
To proceed from the vegetable to y e animal world, I see 
millions of creatures hardly allowed to come into exist- 
ence, or perishing in all stages of life. If we come up to 
man, how many millions die in embrio ; how many before 
they are formed into human beings, as it were, are scat- , 
tered, having no womb where they may lodge. Phyloso- 
phers, for want of some other term, have called this y e 
waste of nature, which is equally the same thing as im- 
perfection when applied to nature's Author. But altho ? 
this may be the case, phylosophically speaking, it wears 
a very different appearance viewed thro' the moral tele- 


scope. God Almighty, says the phylosopher, is able to 
bring all these into being. An infinitely wise God most 
surely would do it, for it must add to his glory. A good 
God will order it so, because it is such a display of his 
benevolence." But the moralist would answer on this 
wise. The present system doth not diminish y e power of 
God ; for we equally allow that he might have planned 
the system otherwise. It is not infringing upon his wis- 
dom, for, after we have examined into nature, we are 
obliged to allow that these things are adapted to y e situa- 
tion of the world. We cannot but be sensible that it 
would not do to have all creatures exist of which there is 
a possibility of their having a being. We may apply the 
same argument for the annihilation of human creatures 
in another state. Why should every person that lives in 
this world exist in Heaven ? There are certain moral 
powers & faculties w ch are necessary to become an inhab- 
itant of that place which many are not endowed with. 
Now, why should the Divine Being superadd to these, 
and make them all perfect in celestial existence, any more 
than to those upon whom he might have bestowed earthly 
existence ? This cannot affect the goodness of God, be- 
cause the creature is only where he was before he was 
born. Nor is annihilation more a punishment than is 
common to nonentities, or the meer maggots of our im- 
agination. * Annihilation is not the punishment inflicted 
on human creatures. It is only a departure from being 
to those who are not equal to the purposes of existence. 
Nor is it viewed otherwise than this by persons who have 
no faith about futurity. Hence the image about San- 
deman's church may be liable to fail. The kingdom of 
Heaven may rather be compared to our own Church, 
where we admit no persons as members without certain 
qualifications. The other instance which you mention 

* Such a Dumber of beings as will be sufficient to beautify the universe will always have 
their stations & subordinations. — Note by Mr. Eliot. 



about civil courts is more apropos. It is a very good argu- 
ment in favor of your system, in opposition to annihilat- 
ing schemes, & would be conclusive were it not for our 
different ideas about the dreadfulness of annihilation. 
The patrons of it viewing it only as a negative punish- 
ment, or a meer privation of happyness. I will only add 
here, that the vast desires of men are often brought as a 
proof of their immortality. This distinguishes them from 
the beasts that perish. But what shall we say of idiots, 
who like y e horse & the mule have no understanding ? 
What shall we say concerning men who have degene- 
rated till they have nothing human in them ? Why 
treated otherwise than those below them ? 

Pardon me, my dear Sir, for thus running a rigg which 
I little expected when I began to write. It is a meer 
matter of speculation. After all, I like your argument 
better than mine own. Either reason or something else 
within me inclines towards the more liberal, because more 
extensive, plan of the restitution of all things. I suppose 
that the annihilators understand the second death, which 
is the punishment of sinners as preparatory to their non- 
existence. The punishment lasts as long as necessary to 
subserve the purposes of God's moral government, and 
then they are eased of it. 

I shall give you an extract from the writings of M r 
Bourn, from whence you will be led to see how far they 
may be supported by the language of inspiration. I told 
you about my peculiar difficulty arising from the silence 
of Scripture concerning persons being admitted to happy- 
ness after the second death. From him you will learn y e 
evidence for their total dissolution : " If the expressions 
of being thrown into a furnace of fire, cast into a lake of fire, 
into everlasting fire, into hell, where the worm dieth not, &c, 
&c, do not intend annihilation, I am at a loss for their 
meaning. If I tell a man whose house is on fire that the 
fire is unquenchable, it is the same as to tell him that it 


will be destroyed. If I tell a gardener whose plants or 
the blossoms are infected by the worm that he cannot 
kill that worm, or that it will not die, it is the same thing 
as if I told him that his fruit will come to nothing, or his 
plants die. Or if a patient is afflicted with a distemper 
which is supposed to proceed from worms, and he is told 
that the worm trill not die, the meaning of the phrase must 
be that the disease will end in the death of the patient. 
And if such expressions are considered as proverbial 
among the Jews, & that when any person fell into any 
distemper or calamity y t would certainly end in their 
destruction, it was usual for them to say, That is a worm 
that idll not die, or, that is a fire that ivill not be quenched, the 
sense is perfectly intelligible. They meant that it was a 
lost case, that there was no possibility of preventing the 
destruction of the person or thing to which they applied 
the proverb. Besides, there is something absurd & con- 
tradictory in the image made use of, if we suppose chaff, 
wood, or other useless materials thrown into an unquench- 
able fire, & yet not to be consumed & destroyed in that 
fire, or a living creature cast into it, & yet preserved 
alive forever in it. For throwing into the fire is always 
understood to be y e most effectual way of destroying 
a thing, and the less extinguishable the fire is, the more 
certainly will the subject thrown in be consumed. And 
the original term kolt aKaieiv, properly translated, is to 
burn up or utterly consume by fire, rid. John 3. 12.* The 
expression here is probably borrowed from Malachi 4. 1, 
' For behold the day cometh,' &c. Similar to this is the 
expression in the Epistle to the Hebrews, ' Our God is a 
consuming fire/ KaravaXtcrKov, which signifies utterly de- 
stroying, the very reverse of preserving. " 

Thus M r Bourn. 

I shall now finish this letter, hoping soon to heai from 
you. But I must beg you to omit one expression which 

• This is an obvious slip of the pen for Matt. 3. 12. — Eds. 

1780.] JOHN ELIOT. 183 

frequently occurs in your epistles, viz* tedious scribbling. 
You cannot surely mean that what you write is tedious to 
me, and did you really think upon the satisfaction & pleas- 
ure which your letters afford to my mind, that benevo- 
lence w ch prompts you to indulge the thought that all men 
will be finally happy would stimulate your activity in con- 
ferring happyness on an individual, & him your friend. 

I leave it to yourself to judge about the tediousness of 
this long letter of mine, and shall only add my love & 
respects to Euthy & other enquiring friends. 
Yrs most affectionately, 

John Eliot. 


Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Dover. To the care of M r . Richard Champney, 


Boston, 14 April, 1780. 

Rev d and dear Sir, — After long wishing to hear from 
you, I received a very agreable letter, dated March 22 d , 
which acquainted me among other things that you had 
written to me before, and sent a number of your sermons. 
I had desired to see this production of yours, and could 
not but feel a twofold degree of indignation, because with 
these I was also deprived of the letter which accompa- 
nied them. These have just arrived, and I have read 
each of them with satisfaction. From what you mention 
about my neglect I am persuaded that you have not re- 
ceived my last letter, which was a particular consideration 
of the annihilating plan, & which with the other parts of 
the epistle filled several sheets of paper. 

I have read D r Chauncy upon you hioiv what. I think 
it unanswerable. Were I not of a sceptical turn of mind 
in things admitting much speculation, I should fall into it. 
Perhaps I may be said to believe it. There are degrees 
of faith. Mine is not so strong but that I something 
doubt at times. It has pleased Grod to cover with a veil, 


at least so as to obscure, if not to hide, the view of things 
which are to happen after the sufferings of the second 
death. This may be to excite our industry in religious 
studies. 1 never saw D r Whitby's writings ; am obliged 
to you for your extracts, as well as the observations upon 
him. You are equally ingenuous, & I am fond of such 
enquiries because they pleasingly exercise the mind. 
But I am persuaded that no one will long dispute about 
the modus of the operation, if they are once brought to 
think that y r God determined to restore all things in the 
extensive manner you mention. My surprise is only ex- 
cited y* so little is revealed concerning his design. I have 
however hinted above what may be the cause. By the 
first private opportunity I will send the paraphrases you 
wish to peruse, and my sentiments about the Giving up 
his Kingdom. I have lately been reading another MS. 
of the D rs upon Justification, which is stronger illustration 
of his sentiments upon the 5 th ch. to the Eomans. He 
is certainly a masterly reasoner & a great critic. Magna 
est Veritas et semper prevalebit. 

You complain that I am not full enough about your 
parochial affairs. I thought I had been. This I would 
give as my advice, that something firm should be between 
you. (Did I not say this before ?) Otherwise I would 
leave them, and improve the first opportunity of build- 
ing on a surer foundation. I esteem it an expression 
of the warmest friendship that you acquaint me with the 

Poor me. Here I am tied by the leg. I injured the 
tendon of the plantaris muscle (to speak in the crooked 
language of my physician), and have been confined these 
3 weeks, & must have shut up the meeting-house but 
for the assistance of our North End schoolmaster. When 
I shall be released [from] my confinement, I am unable 
to say. We have the disagreable news of my brother 
Squier's uneasy situation aboard a guard ship. He was 

1780.] JOHN ELIOT. 185 

carried into New York, being an officer in the ship Re- 
covery. Bella, horrida bella. What are we commin to? 
What shall we do if the times continue as they are ? I 
have a manuscript upon the Congress I wish you to see. 
I will send you a copy of the Constitution & some ser- 
mons when I am favored with a conveyance, — a Register 
if you have none, — Fleet's, I mean, of this State. The 
same printer is about a work I greatly promoted, — 
The History of the Present War. I have a duplicate ; 
will send one, if Sam don't. Am afraid to ask him, lest 
ft should offend his delicacy. Pray inform me. We are 
all well. Accept our regards. 

Yours affectionately, 

J. Eliot. 


Boston, May 23, 1780. 

Dear Sir, — Your two last letters are before me. 
M5 Buckminster and M r Haven delivered them in propriis 
personis. Before I take notice of the contents of either, 
I am desirous to acquaint you in what channel I supposed 
my missing letter was conveyed. My brother delivered 
it to the care of M r George Searle of Newburyport, who 
undertook to forward it to Deacon Penhallow's at Ports- 
mouth, from whence I was led to think you would soon 
be in possession of whatever it contained. It was rather 
a lengthy epistle. However, I may in future recollect 
some of the sentiments, & perhaps by a second review 
deliver them more to your satisfaction. You may there 
be convinced that the scheme of annihilation is not a 
baby of my affections, tho' I cannot but say that it re- 
ceived, to speak no further, some favor from me, from 
reflecting upon the general analogy of nature, & from 
considering certain passages of Scripture which are con- 
strued otherwise with some difficulty. I would now sug- 


gest that M r Murray may be deprived of some advantages 
upon the plan of the annihilation of the wicked, which 
would be made use of against the scheme of ultimate 
happyness. He insists upon it that certain texts not 
only imply, but plainly declare, destruction to some 
things w ch now have no existence. These he makes to 
be the sins, corrupt affections, &c. And his argument : — 
Something must be entirely destroyed ; you do not allow 
that wicked men can be the subjects of such punish- 
ments, because they must be reserved for everlasting 
torments. What then shall we understand by the goats, 
tares, & chaff, which are to be consumed, but our corrupt 
nature or evil principles ; and if we are divested of these, 
why shall we not be holy & happy ? which, as we read, is 
to be the case with us at the Day of Judgment. — Now, 
whether his mouth could not be stopped by denying his 
minor proposition. 

M r Murray is now in town. So is one Winchester, a 
New-Light haranguer * They preach to the same audi- 
ence, viz* the promiscuous herd who attend wherever 
they can get their passions roused & inflamed. Murray 
is certainly right while they are in his meeting ; and 

W r certainly has truth of his side, — tho' one asserts 

that all punishment is connected with the offence in this 
life, and the other asserts that we are everlastingly to 
float about in the liquid fire of hell. Winchester has 
brought many of our country towns to the state they 
were in when D r Chauncy wrote his account of religion 
in New England. They flock about him, and are dipped 
by twenty's. All these sectaries, however they may spat 
one another, agree in this one thing, to pull down the 

* Rev. Elhanan Winchester was born in Brookline, Mass., Sept. 30, 1751. At an early 
age he became a Baptist minister; but he afterward joined the Universalists, and in 1781 
founded a Universalis! church in Philadelphia. A few years later he went to England, 
where he spent several years. He returned to this country in 1794, and died in Hartford, 
Conn., April 18, 1797. He was a very prolific writer, as well as a very zealous preacher. 
(See Eddy's Universalism in America, vol. i. pp. 212-257, 429, 479 ) — Eds. 

1780.J JOHN ELIOT. 187 

standing clergy. This was evident in our debates upon 
the third article of our Constitution. Murray preached 
against it day after day. Stillman went to town meeting 
day after day likewise, & harangued.* I must be a little 
particular about this town meeting, for it was really curi- 
ous. The whole Constitution was unanimously accepted, 
exclusive of the third article, w ch was left for debate. 
Monday, 8 th instant, in the afternoon, we met in the 
Old Brick meetinghouse, — a most crowded assembly, 
rendered so in an especial manner by the desire of the 
ministers of the town, who, agreably to a vote passed, 
begged every one to attend. The votes of the town were 
read before the last singing the day preceeding. When 
we had gotten together Stillman arose & spoke against 
the article. He represented it as infringing upon the 
rights of conscience, and told a story of a barber whose 
minister brought him in a rate-bill, which he refused to pay 
because he did not go to meeting. " Well," said the min- 
ister, " the doors were open & you might have come. You 
must pay me." A little while after, the barber brought 
him a bill for shaving, &c. The minister refused to pay, 
& said he had never been in his shop. " Well, but," said 
he, " the doors have been open all the week, & it is your 
fault," &c. This was accompanied with a pathetic ad- 
dress to the people about his being called out of meeting, 
some days before, with a complaint from two men who were 
confined in Worcester jail, because they did not wrong 
their consciences in paying a minister of a different per- 
suasion. " Here 's the mittimus," said he, "here 's y e mitti- 
mus," with all the eloquence of Corporal Trim, in Tristam 
Shandy, when he waked up Dr Slop by describing the 
Inquisition. Another oratorical expression was made use 
of to much popular advantage, — Thanh God, I serve a 

* Rev. Samuel Stillman, D. D., minister of the First Baptist Church in Boston, was 
born in Philadelphia, Feb. 27, 1737, and died in B ston, March 12, 1807. He took a very- 
active interest in public affairs, and was a member of the State Convention which ratified 
the Constitution of the United States. — Eds. 


company of voluntiers; thank God, I serve, &c. When 
Stillman had popp'd off his powder, up rose Bp. Barrett,* 
& read a sermon upon the occasion, w ch was sensible & 
to the point, but was ill-timed & rather a disadvantage to 
us. Df Chauncy t then arose from the pulpit, & deliv- 
ered his sentiments in favor of the article. It was a great 
pity that he could not be heard. After him Old Kent 
blundered away. Then M r Lowell \ spake, who made as 
compleat an harangue as we could wish. He took Still- 
man in his own way, brought the laugh upon him about 
the barber, and, in short, shaved him quite to his skin. 
Stillman got up much agitated, &, without answering 
him to what he had said, commented upon this text, 
"My kingdom is not of this world." This brought Dy 
Cooper § upon his legs, who in his elegant & smooth way 
cut him up, & brought his comments down to nothing. 

Ellis Gray joined with D r C r, k called upon Stillman 

to tell the whole story about the men confined in W r 

jail, concluding with his opinion that it w r ould have a 
very different appearance after the particular circum- 
stances were mentioned. To this S n never replied. 

The dispute continued all next day. M? S n brought 

into meeting a sermon of D^ Chauncy's to shew that the 
Doctor agreed with him about the kingdom of Christ. 
D v . Cooper then displayed a new lustre to his character 
by a compleat answer to every thing which he alledged, 
& proved to demonstration that M r S. did not understand 

* Probably Deacon Barrett of the New North Church, referred to in Mr. Eliot's letter 
of March 17, 1779. (See ante, p. 138.) — Eds. 

t Rev. Charles Chauncy, D. D., senior minister of the First Church, to whom there are 
numerous references in this correspondence. He was born in Boston, Jan. 1, 1705. gradu- 
ated at Harvard College in 1721, ordained minister of the First Church in 1727, and died 
Feb. 10, 1787. (See Ellis's History of the First Church, pp. 188-208.) — Eds. 

J Hon. John Lowell, LL.D., born in Newbury, Mass., June 17. 1743, graduated at 
Harvard College in 1700, died in Roxhnry, May 6, 1802. He was one of the most distin- 
guished lawyers of his time, first Judge of the District Court of the United States for 
Massachusetts, and afterward Chief Justice of the Circuit Court. — Eds. 

§ Rev. Samuel Cooper. D.D., minister of the Brattle Street Church, born in Boston, 
March 28, 1725, graduated at Harvard College in 1743, died Dec. 29, 1783. (See Lothrop's 
History of the Brattle Street Church, pp. 85-124.) —Eds. 

1780.] JOHN ELIOT. 189 

what was delivered in the sermon. About one o'clock 
the town chose a committee to make certain amendments 
in the article. They consisted of 5, — M r Lowel, M r 
Stillman, D r . Cooper, M r Gray, & M r Morton. The last 
mentioned gentleman had delivered his sentiments 
against the article. You may see the amendments in 
the paper.* The instructions were draughted by your 
brother Sam, who engaged with his usual zeal in support 
of the article as proposed by the Convention.! There 
are some fine essays upon this subject written by M r West 
of Dartmouth,;}: who signs Irenaeus, a Member of the 

Well, but I have run along here to a Talmudic length, 
to be sure, without even saying a word concerning a 
number of particulars in your letters. I could not rest, 
however, till I had given you an account of our cele- 
brated meeting. I cannot procure you a Constitution. 
I gave away y e only one I had, & another neither love 
or money will obtain. 

Besides a number of moral sentiments & things of a 
spll. nature which I meant to notice, I have somewhat to 
observe to you about a rare phenomenon in the heavens 
last Friday. We all dined by candle light, & the sun was 
literally darkened at noonday. You will let me know 
how far eastward the darkness extended, & what you 
conjecture concerning the amazing column of smoke & 

* The report of the committee, as accepted by the town, is printed in the Boston 
Gazette for May 22, 1780. See also Barry's Hist, of Mass., vol. iii. pp. 177-179. — Eds. 

+ The instructions to the delegates from Boston are printed in the Boston Gazette for 
May 15, 1780. — Eds. 

X Rev. Samuel West, D. D., was born in Yarmouth, Mass., March 4, 1730, graduated 
with high rank at Harvard College in 1754. settled over the church in Dartmouth in 1761, 
and died at Tiverton, R. I., Sept. 24, 1807. He was a member of the Convention which 
framed the Constitution of Massachusetts, and also a member of the Convention which rati- 
fied the Constitution of the United States. "His memory is cherished not only for his 
successful labors and his great influence in the religious teachings of a hundred years ago, 
but for his patriotic services in the war of the Revolution. Few men have lived in our 
town who for so long a period of time exerted so beneficial an influence and commanded 
so high respect and confidence as Dr. Samuel West." (See Celebration at New Bedford, 
Sept. 14, 1864, of the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Town of 
Dartmouth, p. 86.) — Eds. 


vapor w ch for so many days filled the air. I shall also 
relate some curious solutions of people, more especially 
the female phylosophers.* These things must be left to 
another opportunity, which I shall improve by the kind- 
ness of M r Buckminster, if we are not favored with an 
interview. I believe I should exchange with Brother 
Buck, if I was sure you would not be here at election. 

I will conclude this epistle with the paraphrase of D r 
C y's that you desire so much to peruse. 

" 1 Corinth. 15, from v. 24 to 29. After that (the res- 
urrection of the saints at Christ's second appearing) shall 
be the end, when Ct. shall have delivered up the media- 
torial kingdom to God, even the Father, w T hen he shall 
have put down all principality, authority, & power. 
Only, take care that you don't mistake my meaning. 
I don't intend to insinuate as tho' the end would come, 
i. e. y e scene of Providence with respect to the sons of 
Adam be shut up, immediately upon the advent of Christ 
to restore the saints to happy life. For, observe, I have 
connected y e end not only with Ct's delivery of y e king- 
dom unto his Father, but with his having put down all 
principality, &c. And for a very good reason, for he 
must still reign & go on reigning till he has totally sub- 
dued all enemies & subjected them to his dominion as 
Head of God's kingdom, which may require a long time, 
God only knows how long, for its accomplishment. And 
let it be particularly observed, the last enemy that is to 
be destroyed, & that must & shall be destroyed, is Death, 
I mean the Second Death, that death which wicked men 
must undergo before they can be made willing subjects 
of Jesus Ct., & so fitted for an happy immortality. Nor 
let this seem anything strange. For God hath purposed 
that all things shall be subjected to his son, Jesus Ct. 
Only when it is said that all things shall be subjected to 

* See Mr. Eliot's following let'er, June 3, 1780, for a further account of "the Dark 
Day." — Eus. 

1780.] JOHN ELIOT. 191 

Christ, it is obvious to perceive that that glorious Being 
is to be excepted who subjected all things to him. And 
when all things shall in event or fact be reduced under 
subjection to him, then, & not till then, however long a 
space of time it may require for its accomplishment, — 
then, I say, shall even the Son himself be subject to Him 
who put all y ngs under Him, that God may be all & in all." 

My own sentiments are similar to the Doctor's. I 
think the least shadow of an objection can be thrown 
upon this paraphrase, tho' I cannot but say that I think it 
entirely consistent with the annihilating scheme, which 
allows a full destruction to every thing which opposes the 
Son of God resting in his kingdom. 

You may be tired of reading. I am of writing. There- 
fore I w T ill not adduce the same passage of Scripture para- 
phrased by M r Alexander. 

I did not put your name for Hunter.* I subscribed for 
a number. You '11 give me pleasure to accept of one. I 
shall pay M r Gill with the rest of the money. 
And am with regards to you & yours, 

Your friend & humble servant, 

J. Eliot. 


Reverend M r Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, June 3, 1780. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — I have just heard that M r . s dish- 
ing sets out for Somersworth, & I shall beg the favor of 
her taking Hunter's Observations, &c. Sam - & I differ 
about the merit of the work. It is too Johnsonian for 
my taste. He affects the language of Ld. C d,t and 

* The reference is probably to " Reflections, Critical and Moral, on the Letters of the 
late Earl of Chesterfield, by Thomas Hunter, M. A., Vicar of Weaverham, in Cheshire," 
which was reprinted in Boston in 1780, and of which there are two copies in the library of 
,the Historical Society. — Eds. 

t Lord Chesterfield is the author referred to. His "Letters to his Son " was reprinted 
in Boston in 1779. — Eds. 


appears to me much like one of his Lordship's tenants 
dressed up in his cloaths. When he moves he discovers 
himself. Let me say, however, that there are many fine 
sentiments & some very beautiful images; the expression 
also, at times, is beautiful. It has, however, the desired 
effect. The tinsel captivates the admirers of the Brit- 
ish noblemen, & Ld. C d sinks in esteem among our 

bucks, ladies, &c. 

Your brother feels pretty cleverly on account of the 
great reputation his minister has gained by his Election 
Sermon.* And if you esteem my commendam anything 
you may think it would have done honor to Bp. Sher- 

I have to thank you most heartily for several letters, 
one of which was delivered to me yesterday. This I shall 
notice after a ha, ha, he upon the Dartmouth oration. It 
was read at our Club, and caused much humour thro' the 
evening. His poem I never have read. I must say his, 
for the same hand appears in this & the Essay on the 
Imitative Arts, particularly the description of a transparent 
mirror, several times repeated. There is a D r Graham, 
President of an Academy in Fish Kill, — (What a group, 

mirabile pecus ! President L n, C e ; S s, Yale ; 

W k, D h; Graham, Fish Kill; I beg M r Man- 
ning's pardon, who resides at Providence. I suppose 
you have heard of the new species of vegetation by 
one of these gentlemen, viz* planting chocolate, cut- 
ting up a cake into a number of pieces, and expecting 
it to grow up in pounds cut square,) — who has writ- 
ten a poem almost equal to Mr W. This is the first 
line : — 

" Arms & the man I sing who from the plain 
Of fair Virginia came," &c. 

* The annual Election Sermon was preached, May 31, 1780, by Rev. Simeon Howard, 
minister of the West Church, Boston. —Eds. 

1780.] JOHN ELIOT. 193 

I shall take the freedom to print an extract of your 
letter in Draper & Folsom's paper * Be careful to obtain 
it, & give me your sentiments upon the whole matter. 
M r Williams means to collect all w ch is said, & then in- 
troduce the subject into a lecture. You have afforded 
some facts w ch were new to us, — particularly relating to 
the duration of the darkness. It continued here no 
longer than two o'clock. We burnt candles for about an 
hour. In the evening the darkness was equal to what it 
was with you, but then it continued much later. It was 
as dark at 11 & 12 o'clock & afterwards as it was at any 

* The extract from Mr. Belknap's letter is given in a communication, signed "A well 
wisher to Science," printed in "The Independent Ledger "for June 5, 1780. It is as 
follows: "I am going to entertain you with some account of the late extraordinary 
darkness, which happened on the 19 inst. For some days before, the smoke had been so 
thick, especially towards the horizon, that the sun disappeared full half an hour before 
setting. In the low grounds it was so dark the Wednesday before, that a man who was 
planting a piece of corn told me he could not see from one end of his row to the other. 
Friday morning was cloudy with some rain and distant thunders. About 11 o'clock it 
began to grow dark; it was not like the darkness of a thunder cloud, but a yellowish vapour 
like the fume of a malt house or a coal kiln ; about 1 o'clock the darkness was such that 
we lighted candles to take up dinner, and kept them burning till bed-time. I observed a 
light gleam in the north and north east, and a very thick vapour in the south west which 
at first I took to be a thunder cloud. There was a thick kind of fog which rested on the 
tops of the hills at the time of the greatest obscuration. A gentleman who was riding 
thro' the woods above Pennicook says that in the low grounds he could scarcely breathe. 
Several small birds flew into the houses, and some were found dead without, being probably 
suffocated. — A man who was on the river observed a dark coloured scum like soot on 
the surface of the water. Several of our neighbours catched rain water (for there was a 
drizzling rain all the day at times) and it was so black they would not use it for washing. 
At Berwick there were the remains of a snow-drift, which la}' before an house and had 
been so covered with wood chips, &c. that it had not dissolved. The day before the dark- 
ness, the man had raked off the chips and dirt that the sun might melt it, so that it was 
as white as in winter, but by the descent of the vapour on Friday it became all over dark 
and soo<y. — These circumstances, which I can affirm, some on my own observation and 
the rest on very credible information, joined to the exceeding strong smell of smoke which 
there was all day, are undeniable proofs that the darkness must have been the effect of 
clouds and smoke." This account of the "Dark Day" is nlso given, in nearly the same form, 
in the third volume of "The History of New Hampshire." In the communication to the 
newspaper is another short extract from Mr. Belknap's letter: "Should any one say that 
these things ought to be improved to strike conviction and terror to sinners, I reply that 
the Word of God is the proper mean of conviction, and all the terrors that are wrought into 
the mind by natural means without application to the Word, or the truths it contains, are 
mereiy animal affections and can produce no solid effect. I wish, however, to meet them 
upon this ground, that uncommon appearances might be the occasion of exciting people's 
attention to the Word which is the instrumental cause of conversion. This event has been 
the occasion for much lying and harsh censures, as if we denied a first cause, which must 
be allowed before we can reason upon the second." — Eds. 



time. Onr philosophers this way differ greatly. M r 
Lathrop printed an account of the appearance of things, 
& signed Viator. He was at Cutler's, Ipswich Hamlet, 
with Professor Sewal & others, who agreed that smoke 
was the primary cause, &c. He is attacked by a Peripa- 

tetick, J. W p., who, thinking M r Williams was the 

author, malitiously meant to lessen his reputation. This 
gentleman gives without doubt the true cause. The de- 
tached appearance of the clouds in the forenoon will 
account for the darkness, as may be llustrated by taking 
panes of glass & placing them at a small distance from 
each other. 

I must here break off, for the letter is called for. 

I wrote by B r. 


Boston, Septem 1 : 11, 1780. 

My dear Friend, — Tomorrow Brother Lathrop sets 
out for the eastw'd upon the matter of connubiation ; 
and I have a lOOOd things to say, many of which I shall 
make mention of in this letter. What my mind is most 
full of is the case of poor President Langdon. You have 
heard without doubt by busybody rumour something of 
his situation. I shall be very particular in informing 
you of every circumstance, for I know you to be a very 
particular man, & that you are accurate in collecting 
things in order to form an opinion, & as accurate in your 
judgm* when all circumstances are before 3011. The 
President has been long growing unpopular, more espe- 
cially among the students of the College. So disgusting 
hath he been in his whole deportment that they would 
have held him in detestation if this sensation had not 
been absorbed in meer thorough contempt. Yet after all 
w ch can be said, (this is not a meer effusion of pit}',) all 
his foibles did not amount to a vice when compleatlv 

1780.] JOHN ELIOT. 195 

converged unto one point of view ; much less unworthy 
doth he appear when these are separated from each other 
and blended with his good qualities. I mean a vice that 
will shade his moral character. As to the total disqualifi- 
cation for the office he sustained, I always had the same 
opinion, which I hold now, that he was no ways proper 
to appear in the station ; and that no man who wished 
well to him or to the interest of Harvard College would, 
with the same opinion as mine own, not rather have seen 
him else w he re's. Sed sic visum est superis, — at least to 
the Corporation, who were the immediate electors. His 
resignation was as surprising to me as it was to any per- 
son the furthest distant from the College. It happened, 
it seems, in this manner. The scholars unanimously 
formed a petition w ch was to be presented to the Cor- 
poration, begging them to remove the P. What the arti- 
cles were can be known but imperfectly, as they come to 
a determination to conceal the contents. Among other 
things tho', I hear that his unbecoming way of address- 
ing the Deity was one. There was a committee chosen 
to acquaint the P. with the petition, who addressed him 
in these words : "As a man of genius & knowledge we 
respect you ; as a man of piety & virtue we venerate 
you ; as a President we despise you." Dy Langdon now 
added another to his many imprudences. He declared to 
the scholars that he was sensible of his incapacity for the 
office, imputing it to the weak state of his nerves, and 
gave them a promise that he would resign. He prepared 
his resignation to be presented to the Board of Overseers 
at their meeting last Thursday. The forthputting , officious 
gentleman, D r Gordon, now suffered his zeal to boil over, 
and persuaded the President (ut credo) that he might still 
remain in his office, and that he would be his advocate at 
the Board of Overseers. At the meeting Mf Bowdoin 
read the resignation. It was well drawn up. Nothing 
was said of the uneasiness with the students. One would 


suppose the whole originated with himself. He said the 
place was disagreable to him ; that he found himself so 
debilitated by nervous disorders that he could not go 
thro' with his course of duty. " My memory fails," said 
he ; " my taste for academical studies decreases ; my fond- 
ness for shew & public notice is lost; and I wish heartily 
to retire." He then described very pathetically the dis- 
advantageous circumstances of his coming to Cambridge, 
and the many losses & troubles he had met with during 
his continuance there ; requesting that he might live in 
the provincial mansion house, &c. He is really an object 
of pity. Even the scholars who have been so active in 
his dismission think so. They attested to his good char- 
acter in a unanimous vote presented to the Overseers, 
wherein they mentioned him as a man of learning an[d] 
a man of most excellent character, rendered him many 
thanks for his past services, & expressed the most earnest 
desire that the remainder of his days may be comfortable 
& happy. This vote is also accompanied with a sub- 
scription for something by way of present. I believe 
that many thousand dollars will be subscribed for him, 
if Gordon don't spoil the whole by his impertinence & 
nonsensical reveries. He blazed away at the meeting ; 
insisted upon it y t this whole proceeding arose from the 
meer malice of one of the governors of y e College (M T . 
W., the Librarian), who had the impudence to tell M? & 
M rs Langdon to their heads that he had long sought an 
opportunity to revenge an affront offered to him by the 
President some years since, and now that he was grati- 
fied, lie moved the matter should be inquired into, the 
students should be severely censured, & the whole scene 
of iniquity should be unfolded. Fiat justitia, rued caium, 
he repeated, and seemed in a pet, as if the rest of us were 
a party joined together to destroy the President. We 
felt as much as he could be sensible of, but judged very 
differently from him about the whole affair. We see the 

1780.] JOHN ELIOT. 197 

absolute necessity of his leaving Cambridge, which the 
Doctor himself could not deny ; notwithstanding him, 
aim to do some y ng. We thought it best he should 
depart as privately as possible, that the circumstances 
might not be too much the subject of speculation, but 
that things might appear as if all things came & were 
determined by himself. We knew that a little matter 
would cause the subscription paper to flag, & that any 
measures to censure the students would provoke them to 
withdraw their generosity. For mine own part, I wish 
that they had first accepted the resignation, but the Over- 
seers saw fit to appoint a committee for the meer formality 
of a consultation with him, and they are to report next 
Thursday ; after which I will write & acquaint you with 
the result of their conference & our determination.* 

The last letter of your[s] favored me with some obser- 
vations concerning the darkness which was the object of 
our enquiry at that time. I read them to M r Williams. 
He has had a lecture npon the subject, which would have 
been printed if they had any spirit at Cambridge.! It 
will make part of the first volume of the Transactions of 
the American Academy. He promised me the perusal of 
it, but has been absent from Cambridge every time that 
I have called upon him. You asked me why I was not a 
member of the Academy, as M r C. was enrolled in the num- 
ber. I answer, that I had rather it should be said, Why 
was not Mr E. ? than Why was Mr C. ? (These things only 
inter nos. To speak seriously, it was meerly accidental 
that M r C. was in the Society, according to what he says. 
I suppose it was owing to his particular connection with 
M5 Parsons, the lawyer, who made out the list.) 

* For another account of the circumstances attending the resignation of President 
Langdon, see Quincy's History of Harvard University, vol. ii. pp. 176-181. — Eds. 

t The paper referred to is entitled "An Account of a very uncommon Darkness in the 
States of New England, May 19, 1780, by Samuel Williams, A. M., Hollis Professor of 
Mathematics and Philosophy in the University at Cambridge," and is printed in the 
Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, vol. i. pp. 234-246. — Eds. 


I cannot in this letter pay that attention to your argu- 
ments upon future happyness which they deserve. Go 
on, & prosper. At present, allowing that y e arguments 
are much in favor of a universal restitution, yet it 
would not do to make it public at once. Eyes which 
have been for a long while blind must only gradually be 
admitted to the rays of the sun. If it was strict demon- 
stration, I should not be against it. But some cavil can 
be made against every moral argument; and there are 
some cavillers to be found among the present generation. 

I would relate a conversation between M r H y of 

Wells & myself, had I room. I wish to hear what you 
confab'd together. 

While I think of it, did you not enquire who was the 
writer of the Friend to Learning & Politeness in opposi- 
tion to James W p about Clouds & Smoke ? It was 

M r Lathrop. 1 think it extremely well done. I could 
never procure a paper where were our joint speculations 
under the signature of the Well Wisher to Science. 

You desired me likewise to pay M r Gill, but he is de- 
termined not to receive any money. He has promised to 
draw out the account as many times as there are dollars 
due, but made excuses when I called for it. I told him 
yesterday that I would make no allowance for depreda- 
tion since the time I first offered to pay him. He prom- 
ised me that next week he would certainly settle. He 
tells me that he sends the papers regularly. I, enclosed, 
send you a New Hampshire bill, begging you to get the 
interest for my mother, — perhaps some opportunity will 
be in your way. 

With pleasure I send you such pamphlets as I have 
duplicates of, and shall continue so to do. My brother's 
sermon is printed, tho' late; I send M r Merriam one, & 
would also M r Haven, but I fear to make too large a 
packett, lest it should be imposing too much upon 
Brother Lathrop. I w r ill send to him next time. You 

1780.] JOHN ELIOT. 199 

will find the History of the War verging towards the 
government side. I can hardly think it is the same 

Shall I not say one word of politics in this long letter ? 
How stand opinions among your politicians ? We are 
chusing governors, senators, & mighty fine folks. We 
are fricasseeing ourselves into the ways of our allies, or, as 
D r B. says, all-lies. These are now the bon ton. 0, 1 want 
to relate a few puns fresh & new from the D rs Cabinet. 
But I can't so well just now. I have not yet said half 
that I intended. Why, I wanted to speak about parish 
matters, yours & mine, &c, &c. (Do tell me what has 
become of the cottage ? For they tell me M r Leslie has 
gone to Washington, where he was destined among the 
purling streams, meandering brooks, bassamic fragrance, 
& where Madam intended to breath the air of Paradise.) 
How is Euthy & the children? Something domestic 
must at least come upon the carpet? Our family is well, 
and send their respects. 

Lest I should begin upon another paragraph, adieu. 
Yrs. affectionately, 

John Eliot. 


Boston, Decem r 10*. h , Sun. Eve. [1780]. 

Dear Sir, — Meeting very accidentally with Josy 
Allen yester afternoon, he enquired whether I had writ- 
ten an answer to your letter. This was the first item 
of knowledge about you since Col. Waters acquainted 
me with your welfare. (By the bye, why did you not 
write by y e Col. ? Lift a man, my lad. I did not know 
of his going, or I should have written to you.) My Allen 
wondered at my not receiving the letter, & told me he 
gave it to somebody who promised to deliver it per Fri- 
day. I found afterwards y* the trusty hand was my brother 


Mungo. Here & there, &c. He had forgotten poor me, & 
had not Josy luckily tarried over Sunday, you would 
have been deprived of the laugh w c . h I know will shake 
your sides before this period turns. 

Well but for all, as women say, & to be serious, poor 
Cousin Ash is dead, and Lidy look[s] like patience upon a 
monument, not smiling, but really overcome with grief. 
I pity her with all my heart, for, besides relationship, Ash 
was a very clever fellow. 

You received Sartine, &c* Nothing said about it. 
You was in a hurry when you wrote last, I believe. I 
did not know of D r Haven's going till it was too late to 
think about writing. I writ, however, since hearing from 
you. And I wish you to take notice. Be pleased to in- 
form me the dates of all my letters, for I shrewdly sus- 
pect that you have not received all that I have sent. 
Several things of a question-like nature have been un- 
noticed, sometimes where I have been particular. 'Twas 
always so with Clarke, &c, and indeed with all my cor- 
responding friends, and I doubt not you have passed the 
same censure upon me ; and many of your sweet effu- 
sions have been lost between the cup & the lip, and I 
have not received the relish of them. 

What packets I have sent to Deacon Penhallow's, I 
have generally heard of their reaching you, and shall 
more improve the place. What think you of Gill ? He 
is a droll fellow, but I am like to be a gainer by the 
means. He has drawn out y e account, but always forgets 
to bring it to the shop. I therefore took this way to 
remind him; purchased a number of pamphlets, & told 
him he should receive y e pay altogether. The sum is 
become considerable, yet he still forgets, and I hope will 

* The work referred to is " The Green Box of Monsieur de Sartine, found at Mademoi- 
selle du The's Lodgings," a political jeu d? esprit, which was reprinted at Boston in 1779. 
It is in Dr. Belknap's list handed in at the fourth meeting of the Historical Society, and is 
now in the Society's library. — Ens. 

1780.] JOHN ELIOT. 201 

never remember. However, we laugh at one another 
not a little. You was mistaken in supposing that he 
had any design in the neglect, or that his behaviour was 
any thing more than carelessness. I smiled at your 

I wish I w r as near enough to take a stake with you 
before your butchering work is over. I will see Dover 
before I am 27 years of age, w ch important period will 
come round before the first of next June. Why did you 
not come electioneering ? I want to tell all about that re- 
markable day, but cannot, because here's Johnny Tiles- 
ton & Jedidiah Parker come to spend the evening with 
me, & my letter must be sealed up before bed time. I 
suppose Dy Haven tho' gave the minutia. 

I heard the other day a dro'll affair about you, which I 
must find room to mention. You preached, 'tis said, be- 
fore the Association of Ministers, & threw out so many 
heretical hints y* you was obliged to appear as a candidate 
for a moderate reproof. " Be ye wise as serpents," says 
our great Master, &c. It will not do to vent these senti- 
ments at present. (You know what I mean, the pudding, 
as D r Chauncy calls it.) People's minds are not ripe 
enough. Murray has tended to irritate the passions of 
those whom we call worthy men, rather than to mollify 
their minds with ointment to receive a doctrine any ways 
similar to what he hath propagated. They are not able 
to distinguish between y e restitution of all things upon 
his plan, and the other scheme which employs the atten- 
tion & arrests the assent of so many of y e wise & learned 
of y e modern New England clergy. 

D r . Chauncy has repeatedly spoken to me, sometimes 
in an angry tone, about you, that you have several MSS. 
of his which he wishes you to return. I think I men- 
tioned this in a former letter. I wish you would send 
them to me by the first opportunity. 

I never heard Sam. speak upon y e subject of your hint. 


Did you ever receive y e last number of the War from 
me ? 

My sister Betsy is ill ; the Doctor thinks in a consump- 
tion. This concurs with my own opinion, — at least that 
she is near it, if not far gone. 

My love to Euthy. My mother & family join with me. 
Kiss little Johnny, little Andrew, &c. 

Yours affectionately, 

John Eliot. 

Inadvertently indorsed " 1787 " by Dr. Belknap. 


Boston, February, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — I could wish there were more regular 
conveyances between Boston & Dover, tho' I am very 
willing to put myself to y e trouble of writing one or 
more letters for the sake of the answers w ch I receive 
from you, even if you answer but one for three, or in a 
larger proportion on my side. I have to thank you for 
your last letter, w ch was replete with many fine observa- 
tions, great good sense, with a little mixture of that 
enthusiasm w rCh , whether we call it luxuriance of genius 
or exuberance of a good heart, tends to bring pleasure 
rather than conviction. 

You are very sanguine about the good effect w cb will 
issue fm. the publication of D r . C. MSS. (alias the pud- 
ding). I must beg leave to differ from your opinion; 
and y e D r himself agrees with me in thinking you to be 
erroneous. I told you that I was afraid of the conse- 
quences, viz* that it would give offence to many serious, 
good Xtians, & cause them to think y* we were giving up 
the sentiments generally supposed to be agreable to Scrip- 
ture for the sake of gratifying the humours of Murray 
& others of a loose way of thinking. I find this to be 

1781.] JOHN ELIOT. 203 

the case more and more, and I really believe that the pub- 
lication of the D r MSS. at this time would be very preju- 
dicial to the interests of religion. People are influenced 
amazingly by sounds, and (this way, I mean) they know 
no difference between Universal Salvation & Murrayism. 
They suppose that M? Murray allows future punishm*. 
Yet by giving up part of y e strength or degree he is 
loosning the bonds of morality & religion. And to be 
sure, say they, there is no need of opening the flood- 
gates of vice at the present day ! But, say you, who are 
these? Men governed by the meer prejudices of educa- 
tion. I tell you, Nay. But the best & most serious people, 
among us. They have the Bible in y r hands, & we must 
allow y* y e current of Sc. is in y r favor. By w ch I mean 
the common expression as it is adapted to them who are 
not learned in other languages, or mighty in the Scps., 
yet who have sincere & honest hearts. In answer to 
y s shd. you say that the MSS. wld. convince them, I 
must here be constrained to think differently. Because 
that is rather a work of criticism, & requires much erudi- 
tion to understand. From what is here suggested, I am 
led to think that this is not the season for opening our 
minds upon the future restitution. But your line of 
observations hath extended a different way ; and you 
appear to found your arguments upon the supposition 
that men are too lax rather than too rigid in their princi- 
ples. You seem to think our people are Murrayites, & 
have too little rather than too much sense of future pun- 
ishment. Hence many observations are very just from 
your view of y e matter y* do not strike me with the same 
force. I will readily grant you every conclusion w ch you 
have drawn from these premises, and that it would be 
high time to publish y e MSS. & to speak more openly if 
M r Murray's sentiments prevailed among men of thought 
& who made y e Holy Scps. their study. But instead of 
this, I know no one man of education in any of y e States 


who joins with JVP Murray, except you reckon Mitchell 
Sewall ; and concerning him, svfficit. His followers in 
Boston are the young, gay, volatile part, who attend upon 
him ineerly for the sake of joining in the laugh about 
hell & damnation, &c, to whom were we to preach a 
more rational scheme of religion, it would be like casting 
pearl before swine. 

I acknowledge that my opinion is altered about the 
good effect of Mf M's preaching in opening a scene for 
the introduction of the better things, &c. I did think 
that his preaching, as the Law was to y e Gospel, would 
serve as a shadow, & that ours would be the substance. 
But every thing has been managed so injudiciously by 
the abetters of M r M., that, instead of divesting people 
of y r prejudices, their minds are now doubly cased with 
adamant, & their hearts absolutely steeled ag. the im- 
pressions w ch I fondly thought would be made by our 
observations upon the Scriptural doctrines. You say that 
the people cannot be more prejudiced against any thing 
w ch we deliver than the Jewish nation were prejudiced 
against the Xtian religion. Very true. Nor do I sup- 
pose them equally set ag. what we should declare. For 
it required y e use of miracles even to win y e hearts of 
Cts. disciples, nor were their understandings convinced by 
any ordinary methods. Whereas I sincerely believe that 
by prudence, or what in my apprehension is styled Chris- 
tian policy, we may persuade men. This has already 
been managed with success, so as to bring over many of 
the first divines in New England to the faith of an uni- 
versal salvation. 

This leads me to that w oh appears to lay with weight 
upon your mind, viz* that by our present conduct we 
act inconsistent with the fidelity required of us by our 
grt. Ld. & Master in our stations, & that w T e are back- 
ward in opening the eyes of the people, instructing them 
in the knowledge of y e truth, &c. If I have used y e term 



Xtian policy in a right sense, this cannot be any objec- 
tion. Yet if the word don't suit you, it will be equally 
agreable to me to say " necessary caution " This you 
allow after explaining away the words of our Saviour & 
some other expressions of Scripture w ch have served as a 
cloak for them who have faith, yet who keep it to them- 
selves. Whether the words of Christ & his Apostles will 
admit the construction we have put upon them or not, 
there is no dispute between us about the general result 
of our Master's advice, that there is a certain caution to 
be observed by us in our behaviour with our people & 
with the rest of the world. The only difference w ch can 
be between us is concerning the extent of this caution. 
1 may carry it to what you call trimming. Yet I think 
it no more than such a wisdom as Ct. recommended to 
his disciples. 

Every doctrine w ch is necessary to salvation # I think 
ought to be delivered from the pulpit, & is a part of the 
counsel of God w ch he* ought to declare. But the future 
restitution of all things explained in y e MS. is not thus 
necessary to be known. For we certainly allow that 
many shall sit down in y e kingdom of Christ who are 
ignorant about the present system, as we were when we 
knew no more than what is delivered in the Assembly's 
Catechism. There are many honest souls in the way to 
heaven who really believe in y e everlasting torments of 
the wicked, because, notwithstanding their sentiments 
about these matters, they do the will of y r Father & 
follow after holiness. 

Everything w ch can be looked upon as a motive to ac- 
quiring the disposition necessary to partake of the happy- 
ness of those who love Jesus at his appearing in the next 
or Aionian state, I am fully of opinion should be com- 

* 1 desire to be understood to mean the happvness of Christ's kingdom, where I have 
used the word Salvation above. — Note by Mr. Eliot. 


lmmicated to our people ; it is ministerial fidelity so to 
preach. The subject of the universal restitution appears 
to me an object of speculation affording great comfort to 
rational enquirers, but by no means necessary to be com- 
monly known. Indeed, the Holy Ghost would have been 
more explicit had it been proper for the consideration of 
all. You must be sensible that every text in Scripture 
w ch favors it can be construed otherwise, and that many 
will be disposed so to construe them. Hence it seems to 
be a satisfaction they are not deserving of, — I mean the 
pleasure of speculation, — tho' these very persons may be 
very good Christians. 

One sentiment I will communicate. It may have noth- 
ing more than novelty to recommend it. Perhaps 3-011 '11 
say, Whim. It appears to me that the Sp. of God has 
revealed just so much of this truth as to excite the atten- 
tion of those who make y e Word of God their principle 
study, & that the pleasure resu[l]ting from their specu- 
lation is the reward of their labour: and a great reward 
it is. For we have this in addition to the advantages w cb 
w r e enjoy in common with others. To sum up this head. 
1 shall never blame myself for a want of sincerity in my 
office, if I teach people to do justly, love mercy, & walk 
humbly with their God, or if I do my endeavours to per- 
suade men to love God, to love Christ, to do to others as 
we would they should do to us, &c, &c. 

Objections of this kind I am sensible will be alledged, 
that to convince deis[t]s, &c, we ought to represent the 
Gospel in its full beauty, and that by discovering the plan 
of restitution it would shine with such lustre as to dissipate 
all their objections. This would do if such persons were 
rational enquirers, but they are as ready to object against 
the morality & other excellencies (w ch are so evident as 
need nothing, one would think, but to be seen to be ad- 
mired) as against any sanctions or motives to enforce 
obedience to the law. 

1781] JOHN ELIOT. 207 

Experience will best decide these things. Many dis- 
senting ministers in England preach constantly upon the 
subject of universal happyness. M r Relly hath his fol- 
lowers upon his plan. My Wesley preaches to the most 
numerous audience the very sentiments of the MSS. (yet 
M r Murray left M r Wesley & went to M r Relly). The old 
Puritans also defend their notions, & hold forth flames, 
eternal death, damnation, &c. And it seems, after all, 
that D r Price, M r Bourn, & the most shining characters, 
assert an annihilation of the wicked. 

I mention these things to shew that no great benefit 
will accrue from publishing the MSS. Men ivill have 
their own ways of thinking. There are deists in Eng- 
land. D? Chauncy says that the present is the worst 
time which could ever happen, for men's minds are too 
much absorbed in politics to attend unto anything else. 
He says also, that you have given too confined a meaning 
to the texts of Scripture which you quote in your letter. 

The pudding is a word which he uses when persons are 
nigh not acquainted with our sentiments, thus styling the 
MSS. A word that happen[ed] to come uppermost once 
when he wanted to know the sentiments of an absent 
gentleman, — Doth he relish the pudding ? 

You have doubtless heard of my sister Betsy's death. 
She lingered from September to 30 th December, & went 
off very suddenly that night, — in a happy frame of 
mind, sensible to the last, but in great pain, from the 
ulcers breaking and reaching her throat, till the finishing 
stroke of her dissolution. * 

I receive much benefit from your letters. Write often. 
I have a number of pamphlets which would afford me 
pleasure to send you, — M r Bowdoin's Oration, &c. I sent 
you every number of the War, but will send the first again. 

* The death is announced in "The Continental Journal" of Jan. 4, 1781, as follows: 
"Last Sunday morning departed this life, in the 34th year of her age, Miss Elizabeth Eliot, 
eldest daughter of the late Rev. Dr. Eliot, of this town. Her remains were decently 
interred yesterday afternoon." — Eds. 


You need never worry yourself about Gill's account. 
He is a careless felloiv ; that is his whole crime. I will 
settle the affair, & won't pay him my own till he gives 
me yours. He will send the papers. 
Love to Ruthy & the children. 

Yrs. affectionately, 

Joiln Eliot. 


Exeter, June 20 th , 1781. 

Rev d and dear Sir, — Your favor of the 12 th instant I 
duely receivd. It gives me particuler satisfaction that 
you have proceeded so far in your History of New-Hamp- 
shire. The great advantages of perpetuateing memoirs of 
the transactions and various occurrencies which may have 
hapned in any community from its first rise never ap- 
peard to me in a more strikeing light than since the com- 
mencement of the present disputes. Great advantages 
I am perswaded might have been reaped from it had 
such been preserved respecting the settlement of this 
conn trey, and the several Colonies and States in it, but 
there has been a great deficiency in this with respect to 
New Hampshire. I am glad, Sir, that you are engaged 
in a business that will be of so much advantage, as well 
as afford entertainment, not only to the present, but 
future generations. I earnestly desire you, Sir, to pur- 
sue the matter as far as your leasure will permitt. I will 
take the first convenient oppertunity to have the liberty 
of the General Court for their officers to furnish you with 
such papers out of their respective offices as you may 
think necessary for your assistance. Any other materials 
that I can collect I will use my endeavors to procure, 
perticularly the paper you mention respecting M r Gove. 
You will receive herewith the letter from General Sul- 
livan which I mentiond to you, the queries proposd by 
the Minister from France, and the General's answer to 

1781.] JOHN ELIOT. 209 

them. These may serve to suggest some things for your 
enquiry. It would have given me perticular satisfaction 
could I have found an oppertunity to have waited on 
you when I was last at Dover, which was my intention ; 
but the business of the Court, and its riseing sooner than 
I expected, prevented me. 

I am, Sir, with much esteem & respect, 

Y r ob* & hum le ser fc , 

M. Weare. 

Rev* M r Belknap. 


Boston, July 10, [1781]. 

Dear Friend, — You must pardon me for not writing. 
I devoted last night to the business, but was really over- 
come by the heat to such a degree as made me indulge a 
thought of leaving it till this morning. I am now obliged 
to visit several persons extremely low on beds of sickness, 
&, as M r H. tells me he must set off immediately, w ch is 
very contrary to my expectation, I must deprive myself 
of the pleasure till another opportunity. He is a fine, 
sensible, worthy man. I mentioned to him the MSS. that 
is the subject [of] so much speculation among certain 
modern divines. He wishes to see it ; but I find is more 
wavering about some matters even than myself. What 
his opinion may be after having seen y e subject set forth 
in the Scriptural light w ch D. C. had done, I know not. 
But my opinion of him is that he reflects upon all things 
with a mind free from prejudice, & what he judges to be 
truth will be received in his embraces. 

Love to Ruthy & the children. 

Yrs., John Eliot. 

Please to accept the History of the War. 
I have several pamphlets, could I now look them over, 
which shd. be at your service. 




Boston, July 31, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — I always know full well your habit of 
body by reading your letters, or at lest can feel of your 
mental pulse, which I set down to be greatly influenced 
by the animal frame, and from your last letter I suppose 
you to be not so well as I could wish. Why so much in 
the glooms ? What reason had you for such a melan- 
choly reverie ? There was much good humour in what I 
received previously to my writing the short scrip by Col. 
Waters, which led me to think well rather than ill of 
your present condition, and to experience pleasing sensa- 
tions upon contemplating your welfare & happyness. 
However, there hath something intervened which I find 
hath created vou uneasiness, or revived former com- 
plaints, perhaps of your people's negligence or unfaith- 
fulness about their promised maintenance. Is not this 
the case ? Then they are a set of ungrateful rascals, and 
unworthy of so great a priviledge & blessing as they now 
enjoy by having a connection with you. You say that 
you want to ask my advice about a matter of importance. 
I wish that you had written the particulars; for I fear 
about receiving it viva voce. I am afraid I shall not be 
able to reach Dover this fall, which cannot be more of a 
disappointment to you or Ruthy than to myself. For it 
is what I have anticipated as well as fully expected ; and 
having tasted the pleasure in prospect, should not suffer 
a small matter to deprive me in reality. 

But without more preamble, matters are thus & so with 
me. I am in a confounded strait for money ; or at pres- 
ent spend as much as I get, tho' not so much as is due 
from my people. Saturday night generally makes me 
even with the world ; and with regard to temporal things 
I am neither better nor worse than I was y e week before. 

1781.] JOHN ELIOT. 211 

I had from my little perquisites laid up a little of y e 
shining specie in a corner of my trunk, w ch I often sur- 
veyed, not because it was money, but because I meant to 
spend it in taking a journey to my mind by y e middle of 
September. But in a ride from Salem last week a new 
call was made upon me which deprived me of this por- 
tion. My horse threw me out of a carriage w ch belonged 
to Carlestown, and, besides endangering my limbs, broke 
it very much, and obliged me to launch near two Joes for 
repairs. Nor was it an unreasonable charge, considering 
y e damage y t was done. It has, however, made havoc of 
my purse. Indeed, it takes no small matter to live here 
in Boston. Everything is so abominably high that it is 
difficult to procure y e necessaries of subsistence, tho' y* 
bounties of Providence roll in upon us like a flood. Min- 
isters' salaries are inadequate to a support with a family, 
which is one main reason of y e singular estate of your hum- 
ble servant. But yet I have a family which is obliged 
to look up to me, at lest for aid. If I am able to reach 
your Cacheco plains this fall, I will exhibit myself. If 
I do not come, do not impute it to want of good will, or 
of very earnest desires. As to Ruthy, my love to her, 
and tell her it is a part of her duty to keep you out of 
the dumps. 

D r Chauncy says that you may take the MSS. from M r 
Thayer, and desires that you will send them home by a 
careful hand, & soon as possible after reading them. He 
very often enquires after you, & evidently bears no small 
marks of esteem & affection. 

What you write about M r Murray's preaching in your 
pulpit is new to me, but I must think you acted with 
prudence, & that no bad consequences will follow from it. 
I have been reading Eelly's Union, & it appears upon 
repeated inspections to be as compleat a dish of hodge 
podge as most other essays upon mystical subjects. If 
vices & sins are material substances, & capable in them- 


selves of bearing punishment, why are y e virtues ab- 
stractly considered incapable of receiving y e rewards 
promised to y e good, &c. ? And if virtue, y e meer ab- 
stract idea, is to be rewarded, & vice punished, what is 
man but a meer caput mortuum? Such to be sure are the 
persons if the promises & threatenings of y e Gospel only 
ipply unto y e qualities. Murray, it seems, hath added 
much to what his master Relly had written, at least to 
what we have seen printed in his Union. You took a 
right method of confuting him by the plan of your dis- 
courses, and it will be strange if he makes further pro- 
gress in Dover, except among the [word erased] 9 &c., — the 
tares which grow up in your soil, and who will soon be 
burnt up, literally speaking, with rum & other liquors, ii 
they are not given over to the lake that burnetii in the 
other world. 

How is old Uncle Toby in his temporal as well as spll 
concerns ? 

We somewhat expected you down at Commencement, 
A truly academical day it was. Wigglesworth exceeded 
y e expectation of his warmest friends, and did honour tc 
himself & the Society. The young gentlemen behaved 
to a charm. French's * monologue was said to be a truly 
Garrick performance, & that in his gestures & command 
of his passions he may be supposed to equal that cele- 
brated performer. Young Davis, t who spoke the poetry, 
is a genius of y e first magnitude. His lines were Vergil- 
ian. Mi not, t who concluded y e daj 7 's exercises with the 
valedictory oration, was the most graceful orator among 
the several speakers. Old Mother Harvard is a good old 
dame enough, & will nourish many likely children whc 

* Peter French, A. M., born in Sandown, N. II., Sept. 21, 1759: died in Berwick, in th( 
District of .Maine, .Ian. 14, 1785. — Eds. 

f John Davis, LL. 1)., third President of the Historical Society. (See note, post f 
p. 603.)— Kns. 

f George Richards Minot, A. M., one of the original members of the Historical Society, 
was born in Boston, Dec. 22, 1758, and died there Jan. 2, 1802. — Eds. 

1781.] JOHN ELIOT. 213 

are yet to come. Your friend here was very set against 
a public Commencement, thinking that the consequences 
would be rather bad as to rioting & wantonness, and that 
the Prceses pro tern, would be no advantage to the per- 
formances. I am glad to be disappointed, and rejoice that 
my motion was overruled. Your company would have 
made y e scene more pleasant to many, more especially 
to myself. 

You say that your only pleasure is in Hystoriography, 
which acquires also its excellency from your peculiar 
situation. I wish my situation was so as to be able to 
read more than I do, nor could I refrain from scribbling 
upon the same subject. But, alas ! time to me is as pre- 
cious and rare as hard money ; and I pay y e most enor- 
mous tax of any man in y e community. For the bare 
visiting my people takes me up entirely, or would if I 
did as much as they demand of me. And what is worse 
is, that there is no kind of entertainment in such com- 
pany. Many clergymen may make companions of y r 
parishioners. But mine in general are to be kept at 
their proper distance. They are poor, & many of them 
very ignorant; very few conversible, but just to amuse 
after y e fatigue of study, & it my poor lot not to get time 
to obtain a relish for science, or to indulge the gout, much 
more to fatigue myself. We talked together about a 
matter meerly biographical, and when I saw you last I 
determined to devote myself in a measure to obtain an 
acquaintance with the affairs of New England, & to illus- 
trate some of v e characters who have been exhibited on 
the theatre of this rising empire. I thought that, being 
a single man, I should have great opportunities ; but I 
soon found myself mistaken. At last I determined to 
give Friday, or one day in the week, to y e purpose of 
reading & writing upon these matters. But I find y* 
Friday comes ; sometimes former neglects oblige me to 
sermonize ; sometimes company detains me within doors, 


at others without; so that I do but little; nothing as 
yet in writing way. And what I shall do hereafter will 
be only to throw in as mites to your abundance. 

I submit to your superior judgm* a plan w ch you will 
accept, revise, alter, or destroy, as you shall see best. 

The biographical dictionary to be divided into 8 parts. 

l s . fc . Members of Congress, ambassadors, &c. 

2 d . Magistrates of y e particular States, Governors, sen- 
ators, judges, &c. 

3 d . Heads of Colleges, divines, professors, schoolmas- 
ters, &c. 

4 1 ?. Physicians & phylosophers. 

5 th ! y . Officers of the army, &c. 

Sixly. Poets & other ingenious persons, who have 
distinguished themselves by y r writings. Historians, &c. 
Here likewise we shall consider y e ladies y* have ren- 
dered themselves eminent. 

Seventhly. Painters, mechanics, &c. 

Eighthly. Persons in low life, remarkable for age, de- 
formities, &c, convicts, &c. 

Perhaps the officers of y e army may rank most properly 
in the third place. 

I am now reading the large work of y e Abbe Reynal. 
It is in French. Did you ever see this, or the abridge- 
ment ? 

There is nothing here of a political nature worth men- 
tioning. You have y e newspapers, an impure fountain, 
but the only one I have drawn from lately. When will 
there be peace ? 

The enclosed bill will do me no good. If it w 7 ill pass 
in your State I shall be glad. You remember you sent 
me GO dollars, Old Emission, which I have never been 
able to pay to M r Gill, who is a man loth to settle his 
accounts. You must remember y e exchange at the time 
I received it, for I took care to spend it for something or 

1781.] JOHN ELIOT. 215 

I wish you would inform me of y e state of your Loan 
Office. My mother hath a bill upon New Hampshire 
about 300 dollars, the interest of which would be accept- 

The family are all well here & at Fairfield. Mungo is 
at Newport. We send regards to you & Ruthy. 

Have you seen My Bowdoin's Oration at y e commence- 
ment of y e American Academy ? Brother Keith's Oration 
before y e Eree Masons? D r Cooper's Sermon upon y e 
Constitution, &c. ? I have them, & would improve y e op- 
portunity of sending y m by your father, but some good 
friends who have borrowed have forgotten to return them. 
The enclosed is a pamphlet you may have seen. I have 
a duplicate, & this asks your acceptance. The hanker- 
chief is part of a venture I had from Cadiz, and desires 
Ruthy's acceptance. I sent for silk stockings & received 
silk han kerchiefs. But I will not turn merchant. T 
gained nothing by my venture but anxiety about the 

Yrs. affectionate. 


Boston, Sep. 5* 1781. 
Dear Sir, — Hearing accidentally that M r Hazard is 
in town, and purposes to set out for Dover this day, I 
am loth to miss the opportunity of writing, tho' I must 
run the venture of finding the gentleman mentioned. 
Perhaps we may meet at Cambridge, for the Dudlean 
Lecture sermon is to be preached there by Dy Gordon, 
& upon a subject I wish to hear at this time, Popery 
being a delicate point to handle, where people boast of 
their alliance with Roman Catholic powers. I find y e 
Abbe Reynal, tho' a Frenchman & much celebrated by 
their nation, affords us such a description of England 


that one would think him an enthusiastic admirer of 
everything belonging to that island. What think you 
of this passage, w cb concludes the account of y e Dutch set- 
tlements ? " Industrious Hollanders, formerly so brave 
& now rolling in affluence, having resisted the power of 
y e despot and bruised y e serpent's head, be not again 
brought under the yoke of bondage. Manifest to y e 
world y* y e spt. of commerce .may be united with y e spirit 
of liberty. From your own banks behold a people whom 
nature hath set before you as a model, as well as a rival. 
Turn your eyes towards England, & as her alliance hath 
ever been your support, let her example serve you as a 
rule." My own opinion of y e Abbe is that he is an elo- 
quent writer, rather than a man of correct judgment; 
that he follows the suggestions of a fine fancy, rather 
than observes what D r Chauncy calls y e truth of fact. He 
is evidently an infidel, & disingenuous enough to fling at 
y e moral precepts of the Gospel. He is not one, however, 
whom the enemies of our holy religion would depend 
upon as y e champion of their cause, and may be set down 
to be more like a Paris than a Hector. 

What you wrote of y e paper called " The Temple " ex- 
cited my curiosity ; I have heard more about it since. It 
is a meer flurry of that gentleman's brain who attended 
your lecture. Most of the gentlemen said by him to be 
engaged in y e work know nothing about it. The others 
have heard of it only in the way in which it was commu- 
nicated to you. There will be an abortion. 

I fear that I cannot see Dover this fall, and yet many 
things I wish to enlarge upon & suggest w cb cannot be 
done otherwise than by viva voce. My brother will be 

from F d this week. He lives in y e midst of war ; 

they go to meeting armed. You know how a congrega- 
tion was stole away just by him. I must mention one 
particular concerning that affair w ch found not its way 
into y e public papers. The commanding officer of y° 

1781. J JOHN ELIOT. 217 

British told the people assembled that he would not dis- 
turb old men nor women & children. When they were 
taking out the able-bodied ones, M rs Mather, the parson's 
wife, had wit enough to secure a young fellow about 
sixteen or 17 years old by taking him under her petti- 
coats, where he lay snug till all was over. It was men- 
tioned to me that she covered him with her apron, &c, 
but in such a manner that I was obliged to conclude that 
the frightened animal did not think this was sufficient 

Poor D r Mather of Boston has lost his wife. She was 
buried the night before last. Her ail was a consumption 
upon her lungs. Daniel Hubbard's son Daniel was buried 
last night. He died of a violent fever. 

In general it is healthy with us for the season. Dys- 
entery prevails but little. Weather cool k comfortable. 

I wish to exchange situations with you for a little 
while. I am tired to death of company, — those in whose 
company there is neither profit or entertainment. Wish 
for more time to study, or to be less interrupted by im- 
pertinent visitors, & to be obliged to make fewer imper- 
tinent visits. Such I call all them, where it is only, 
How do you do ? &c. A cool air today, &c, &c. I tried 
yesterday to get one half hour to write to you & was not 
able. Perhaps I may now lose the chance of sending. 

M r II d will tell you all news of a public & academical 

nature. The destination of the French fleet is the tub of 
our present diversion. May we see more peaceable & 
honest times. 

Bespects to all friends. Love to Ruthy & the children. 
And am your affectionate and humble servant, 

J. Eliot. 



Portsmo., October y e 27, 1781. 

Dear Sir, — I thank you for your billets, and will 
with pleasure deliver the inclosed. M rs Dana is at Kittery 
and Miss Stevens cannot leave her next week. I shall 
if possible wait on you on Wed?. M r Huntington's plan is 
lent or lost ; wish it were in my power to send it by 
the bearer. You shall have it soon as I can recover 
it. You probably have heard the noise that has almost 
stunned us here. The news is that Cornwallis has sur- 
rendered unconditionally to Gen 1 Washington. This 
comes by express from N. Goodale, member of the House 
at Boston, who writes thus to M r Derby and others 
at Salem : " An express has this minute arrived from 
Newport, announcing the unconditional surrender of the 
proud Cornwallis, with his whole army, to the illustrious 
Washington, on y e 20 instant." D r Haven was for going 
into the meeting house on the occasion and sing g Te 
Deum. I tho't it would be early enough when we had 
authentic or official intelligence. Excuse haste. 

Your obdnt, 


* Rev. Joseph Buckminster, D. D., minister of the North Church, Portsmouth, N. H., 
was horn in Rutland, Mass., Oct. 14, 1751, graduated at Yale College in 1770, was settled 
in Portsmouth as successor of Rev. Dr. Langdon in 1779, and died June 10, 1812, while on 
a journey. He is frequently referred to in these letters as " Buck." — Eds. 

1781.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 219 


1781, Dec. 5. 

Dear Sir, — I constantly feel y e want of such a friend 
as you are to converse with, & especially when I meet 
with any difficulty or any new tho't pops into my head 
which I want to turn round & round and examine inch 
by inch, as I think every thing ought to be before it 
is admitted for truth in speculation or made a rule of 
conduct. But tho' I am deprived of the pleasure of con- 
versing with you, yet I am glad I can have you for a 
correspondent, & therefore, without any more preamble, 
I will ask your opinion upon a thought I have lately 
started. It is this. 

We are told in sundry places of y e N. Test* y* y e Gos- 
pel was preached to y e whole tvorld, to every creature under 
heaven, &c, & this was agreeable to y e commission w h our 
Lord gave his Apostles, & to y e design of setting up his 
kingdom, y e benefits & blessings of w ch were intended for 
all men without respect of persons. We have accounts in 
Eccl 1 Hist y of the travels of y e Apostles & first min rs into 
almost every part of y e world w ch was then known, not 
only among polished but savage nations, & of their estab- 
lishing chhs. wherever they found sufficient success. If 
it was necessary that y e Gospel should be thus universally 
published at that time & by that set of men, who were en- 
dowed with peculiar powers for the purpose, why was not 
the Gospel at that time & by those men brought into 
America ? Were not the Americans as much concerned in 
the redemption of X as y e Europeans, Asians, & Africans ? 
And could it be said with truth (allowing even an hyper- 

* Dr. Belknap kept copies of but few of his own letters; but he frequently made a rough 
draft of a letter which he thought important. In these rough drafts there are numerous 
erasures and interlineations ; and entire sentences or paragraphs are frequently transferred 
from one part of the letter to another. The letter here printed is from such a draft, and is 
indorsed in his own hand, "Copy to John Eliot, 1781." —Eds. 


bole in the expression) y t the Gospel was preached to 
every creature- under heaven, if y e inhabitants of such an 
immense continent are to be excepted ? Should it be 
said y fc America was unknown to y e Apostles, it may 
be answ d that it was not unknown to Him that sent 
them, & if it was his will that all mankind should hear 
his Gospel preached by those Apostles, why were not 
things so prepared in the course of Providence as that a 
way should be found out to carry y e Gospel to America 
while the Apostles were living, as well as afterward to 
carry Spanish tyranny & superstition thither ? Why 
were not even miracles wro't to shew the Apostles the 
way ? Why were they not inspired with y e knowledge 
of y e magnetic needle, & with y e same penetration which 
Columbus discovered in reasoning out the probability of 
another continent ? 

I know it has been boldly said that " this continent was 
certainly known to the first preachers of the Gospel, & 
y fc the Gospel was brought here by one or more of the 
Apostles." (I need not cite my author; he is a worthy, 
good neighbour & friend of yours.) This is a conclusion 
drawn from y e texts abovementioned, & if it were an 
undisputed fact that America was inhabited by men at 
that time, I do not see how we can get over the diffi- 
culties which will arise from a denial of this conclusion. 
But I am inclined to draw another from it, viz. that 
America teas not then peopled. If this be admitted, all the 
difficulties at once vanish, & though it be not capable of 
demonstration, yet there are appearances which render it 
probable that the population of America is an event w ch 
has taken place within the Christian iEra. Not to men- 
tion the notion which Abbe Raynal & Charlevoix have 
adopted, that America is but newly emerged from the 
water, the state of arts & cultivation, even in the cele- 
brated kingdoms of Mexico & Peru, will not give them 
claim to a distant antiquity. If we compare y m with 

1781.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 221 

the ancient kingdoms of Egypt & Assyria, we must give 
the preference to the latter, which were established & 
had risen to a great degree of civilization & improvement 
in a few centuries after the dispersion at Babel. I ac- 
knowledge y t the Peruvians had learnt a more rational 
religion, or at least their principles had a much better 
effect on their morals, than the empires above mentioned, 
but this may be attributed to other causes than length of 
time, & must, or we shall be sadly puzzled to account 
for the want of a more general benevolence in the oldest 
communities. If I remember right, Robertson says the 
Mexicans & Peruvians had hieroglyphic annals # which 
reached back but a few centuries, & Athahualpa, or Atabu- 
lipa, was but the twelfth Ynca in succession from Manco 
Capac, who first reduced them to a regular government. 
Allowing 30 years for each of these to have reigned, 
(which is 7 years more than y e medium of y e English 
reigns from y e Norman Conquest to Q. Eliz%) the empire 
of Manco will not reach a remoter period than the end 
of y e twelfth century of the Christian iEra, & he may be 
placed as a cotemporary w Henry 2 d . If there can be 
any analogy drawn from the progress of other nations 
from a savage to a civilized state, y e Egyptians, Assyrians, 
& Chinese, that is, to y e same degree of improvem* w ch 
the Peruvians were in at y e time of y e Spanish discovery, 
there could not, methinks, intervene more than 3 or 4 
centuries between their emigration from whatever part 
of the world they did come from & y e setting up of Man- 
co's empire. If they came from China or Japan, as some 
have supposed, they must have brought some degree of 
refinement with them, which is a circumstance that will 
confirm my conjecture. And I own I cannot concieve 
what should make so vast a difference between y m & those 

* Supposing them to have been at the time of their migration ignorant of the hiero- 
glyphic art, why may we not suppose them to have invented it as early after their settle- 
ment as the Egyptians ? — Note by Mr. Belknap. 




Indians of a more northern climate, unless they were of 
a different origin. 

These conjectures I venture to you, depending on your 
friendship to tell me whether they are worthy of any 
attention or mere whims. If they should excite any curi- 
osity in you to talk on y e subject with any friend, I beg 
you would not expose me, but let me hear your opinion 
or y e opinions of others freely & critically. 

Kings of Judah from David to Jo- 
Israel from Jeroboam I. 
to Jerob m 2 d , 
Babylon fr° Nabuehodnosor I. 

to Belshazzer, 
Cappadocia fr° Ariarathes I. to 

Pontus fr° Mithridates 1 to Mith- 
ridates 6, 
Roman Emperors from Augustus to 

German Emperors before Charles V. 

(includ' J him), 
Kings of England from W m Conq r to 
Eliz a , 

To the Rev d John Eliot. 



















Each Reign 
at a Medium. 


110) 2536 

Index to Bible. 

Rollin's Chrono- 
logical Table. 

Mat Prideaux. 

(23 Gen 1 Medium. 

Medium between 34 & 14 = 24. 


Reverend M r Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, Feb? 1, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — Your letters are not less valuable because 
unacknowledged. I know not of an opportunity to send 
w* I am now writing, but y t no construction may be put 
upon my silence unfavorable to my character as your 
friend, which I am ambitious of preserving, I '11 employ 
my pen & perhaps may catch an opportunity of sending 
it. If not, you will see by y e date y* I am not so wholly 

1782.] JOHN ELIOT. 223 

negligent as otherwise you might think, & with y e greatest 

Sam was kind enough to favor me with a sight of your 
speculation before it went to y e press, to which I pressed 
to have it carried, & without flattery-think it an ornament 
to y e paper, & y* y e plan carried into execution would be 
of great public utility.* There is certainly a very great 
difference between a learned & a liberal education, tho' 
it is in no place observed less than in y e town of Boston, 
where y e mode of instruction & the teachers themselves 
are a compleat exhibition of our inattention to matters 
w ch ought greatly to interest us, & which tend to ensure 
our own happyness as well as our usefulness to others. 
We don't pretend to teach y e female part of y e town any- 
thing more than dancing, or a little music perhaps, (and 
these accomplishm* 3 must necessarily be confined to a 
very few,) except y e private schools for writing, which 
enables them to write a copy, sign their name, &c, which 
they might not be able to do without such a priviledge, & 
with it I will venture to say that a lady is a rarity among 
us who can write a page of commonplace sentiment, the 
words being well spelt, & y e style & language kept up 
with purity & elegance. We gallants are often mortified 

to find y t our fail in these respects, even in their 

billet douxs. The fault must certainly be in their edu- 
cation, and yet men of influence do not listen to their 
complaints. Something more than usual is, however, 
now said about it. People of taste are somewhat more 

* The "speculation " here referred to was perhaps a communication which appeared in 
"The Boston Evening Post" on the day following the date of this letter, and which is 
thus introduced: "Boston, Jan. 30, 1782. Mr. Powars, — The following remarks on 
Education, lately received from a friend in the country, are offered for a place in your 
(hitherto) very valuable paper. They are on a subject of the last importance, and appear 
to me to contain propositions that greatly merit the attention of the publick. Civis." 
The concluding paragraph of the communication is as follows : "I need not enlarge, but 
I cannot conclude without hinting an hearty wish that the female mind might enjoy some 
of the benefits of a public education, and be dignified with principles of wisdom and virtue, 
while the external form, manners, and actions are graced with the usual polite accomplish- 
ments." — Eds. 


sensible of y e error, & it was y e seasonable moment 
therefore to publish your letter. I shall pursue y e same 
subject, & wish you likewise to go on in y r good work. 

There is a monk of y e order of S* Francis in town, a 
young fellow of sense, taste, & liberality of sentiment in 
religious opinions as well as other matters, who speaks in 
raptures of y e Bostonian misses. He shew me a letter 
y e other day w ch he had written to his sister in France, 
where he makes a comparison between y e manners of y e 
ladies in Boston & his own country, & from this she must 
be led to think y* our female acquaintance equal all w ch 
we wish them to excell in. " They are sensible, virtuous, 
discreet, constant, and love to travel, [here you must 
observe y e Frenchism, y e French word travailler answers to 
our word to work, & he meant to say y* they were very 
notable ,~\ they are faithful in y r friendships & matrimonial 
connections, &c, &c. Whereas the French ladies are 
remarkable for y r [illegible] & insincerity, their idleness, 
imprudence, coquetry, & every other folly & vice." 1 
think as he doth about the madames & mademoiselles, & 
I did not undeceive him with regard to them of whom 
he had such an exalted opinion. He shew me a transla- 
tion of y e letter into English, which was generally correct. 
We have mutually this advantage of exposing to each 
other the faults made in different language. I have been 
learning French this winter, & applied very closely to it 
under a master who continues to wait upon me every 
day. I could read in y e language before, tho' with a very 
bad pronunciation. I can now write it k speak it some- 
what fluently. The French Abbe comes to meeting often, 
& I have been to hear mass on board his ship. We dis- 
coursed together about our persuasions, when he delivers 
such sentiments as these: "I love a good Protestant as 
well as a good Papist. The disciple of Ct. cannot be of a 
persecuting spirit & every good member of y e Ch. of Rome 
must condemn y e Inquisition. You may love Christ, tho' 

1782.] JOHN ELIOT. 225 

you differ from me in many things, & if you love Christ 
you are a good man." In public he appear[s] with great 
dignity & devotion, is a very fine looking man. In 
private he is y e merry, sociable, facetious companion, 
dresses like one of us, & is fond of associating with y e 
clergy of the town. I suspect whether he ever means to 
return to his convent. 

We have had an ordination since you left Boston, & a 
very curious one, I assure you. It. was agreed upon by 
the delegates of your mother church to sift y e candidate, 
M r Everett, very closely. # And as soon as he had read 
his confession, D n Jeffres began y e business by asking w* 
he thought of y e Godhead of Jesus Ct. ? Brother How- 
ard was opposed to him, & insisted that he declared in his 
confession every y ng w ch y e Scripture had pointed out. 
M r Eckley & others joined in y e debate, some with y e 
greatest vociferation (brother Sam's voice was heard 
among y e rest). At last D r Chauncy grew mad, told D n 
Jeffres he was a fool, & D n Greenough y* he knew 
nothing, & was fit only to lift up his hand, w ch was all 
any body expected from him. So we continued for an 
hour, & y e ordination was upon y e point of being sett 
aside, when D r . Aquinas Cooper with a very mellifluous 
tone begged to ask one question : " Do you believe, M r 
Everett, that there are 3 persons, &c, & y* these 3 are 
one ? " " Yes, Sir." A vote passed upon this, that y e 
Council were satisfied, except y e Old South elder & dele- 
gates, who drew off, & left us with the meeting to our- 
selves. Deacon Simpkins & D n Bell went away with y e 
minority. It was lucky y e dispute turned upon y e article 
of y e trinity & exhausted y e patience of y e Council, for 
this was only a prelude to other matters w ch would have 
set us all aghast. We might have been obliged to eat y e 

* Rev. Oliver Everett was settled over the New South Church, Jan. 2, 1782. He was 
born in Dedham, June 11, 1752, graduated at Harvard College in 1779, and died in Dor- 
chester, Nov. 19, 1802. —Eds. 



pudding, bag & all. After such a particular article of 
ecclesiastical news, you must not expect anything of a 
political nature. I could mention some little affairs about 
Cornwallis's surrender w ch I have received from friend 
Major Shaw, who was upon the spot, but my letter now 
borders upon a Talmudic size. I note, however, every 
little anecdote for our future observation. 

The subject of your last letter was curious, & it af- 
forded me much pleasure. I have been long in doubt 
about the progress of civilization in South America before 
there were any European settlements. What you have 
said clears the point to my full satisfaction. And I agree 
with you likewise about its being void of inhabitants 
when the Gospel was first published among the nations. 
Nothing can be more just than your calculation, except 
that 30 years is much beyond what you need allow for 
the mean rate, but which you did, I suppose, for the 
sake of the fortiori plea. If any persons object from 
the climate of S. America having an influence upon y e 
longevity of me[n], it will become them to exhibit the 
proof, &c. 

Have you seen y e late work of the Abbe Eeynal ? I 
will send it by the first opportunity. There is a question 
which I desire may employ your cogitabundity. Whether 
it has been an a[dvan]tage or otherwise that the con- 
tinent of America was di[scovere]d ? A prize of 50 Louis 
d'ors for the best piece written upon y e subject [is offered] 
by the Academy of Lyons. I know of no American so 
deserving of [it] as yourself. D r Mather tells me that 
he shall employ his pen upon the subject. He seems so 
sure of the reward that he has desired the Academy to 
give the guineas to 5 poor scholars. The prize will be 
adjudgd in 1783. 

I wish you would at your leisure remark upon these 
questions : — 

Whether there are most males or females born ? 

1782.] JOHN ELIOT. 227 

Whether more females that are single die under the 
age of 25 than married women ? 

What diseases are most frequent in the towns about 
Dover ? 

I keep an account of these things, & we may compare 
them with some calculations made in Europe by D r Price. 

Adieu for the present. 

Continue to write often, & believe that I shall ever 


Yrs., John Eliot. 

Love to Ruthy & the children. 


Rev d M r Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, April 2 d , [1782] 

Dear Sir, — When you receive this I may perhaps be 
far from you on my journey to Philadelphia ; and the 
next letter w ch I write may be concerning matters & 
things w ch I have seen in that famous city. I propose 
to accompany my friend, Major Shaw, who sets out this 

I am obliged to you for your calculations enclosed in 
your last letter, w ch were accurate & full to my purpose. 
What you say about attending upon mass is not so 
readily agreed to. None, even the priest himself, suppose 
that we are influenced by anything more than an itch of 
curiosity. And we dispute as freely against it as any- 
thing whatever. 

I find that you have written to Sam the same things 
which were noted to me about an Academy for the Belles 
Lettres. We consulted together about it. I talk[ed] 
the matter freely with M r Sam 1 Adams & other principal 
gentlemen of the place, using caution about your name ; 
and I cannot but hope there will be encouragement for 


the thing. No one thing could be more acceptable to me 
than to see you at the head of such an institution. Ruthy 
would assist you much in writing poetical epistles. She 
very feelingly describes the country parson's wife.* I 
advise her to go on to set forth y e cottages, rivulets, &c. 
of the towns round Dover, & if she should reach Washing- 
ton there are some sweet landskips already sketched 
out by, &c. 

I will ask Sam to send you Bounce & bounce about, the 
subject of much conversation in town. I cannot dwell 

* A versified description of the pleasures of a country life is frequently referred to in 
terms of praise in the letters of Dr. Belknap's correspondents, and is uniformly ascribed 
to his wife. But we suspect that they were misled, and that the lines were written by Mr. 
Belknap himself; for he would have enjoyed very much a laugh at the expense of his 
friends. Among the Belknap Papers are two copies of the verses, neither of which is 
in the handwriting of Mrs. Belknap. One, which has all the appearance of being an 
original draft, and has numerous corrections, not likely to have been made by any one 
except the author, is in the handwriting of Mr. Belknap. The other is in a hand not 
known to us, has an introductory paragraph, and differs slightly from the corrected copy. 
It is as follows : — 

" Dear Cousin, —It is now Thanksgiving Night, and I should be thankful indeed if 
I could call and spend the evening with you, or have some agreeable friend call in upon 
me, but as this cannot be, I must converse this way. I have had frequent opportunities to 
Boston this fall, but expect this will be the last for some time ; therefore am willing to 
improve it. And I think for your amusement I will send you ' The Pleasures of a Country 
Life,' written when I had a true taste of them by having no maid. 

'Up in the morning I must rise 
Before I've time to rub my eyes. 
With half-pin'd gown, unbuckled shoe, 
I haste to milk my lowing cow. 
But, Oh! it makes my heart to ake, 
I have no bread till I can bake, 
And then, alas! it makes me sputter, 
For T must churn or have no butter. 
The ho2;s with swill too I must serve; 
For hogs must eat or men will starve. 
Besides, my spouse can get no cloaths 
Unless T much offend my nose. 
For all that try it know it's true 
There is no smell like colouring blue. 
Then round the parish T must ride 
And make enquiry far and wide 
To find some ffirl that is a spinner, 
Then hurry home to get my dinner. 

'If with romantic steps T stray 
Around the fields and meadows gay, 
The crass, besprinkled with the dews, 
Will wet my feet and rot my shoes. 

1782.] JOHN ELIOT. 229 

on particulars, or I would mention the circumstances w cl ^ 
gave rise to these performances, the suspected authors, 
&e. I will desire Sam to do this, & beg you to wish me 
well till my next. 

Adieu, John Eliot. 


Boston, June 17, 1782. 

Dear Sir, — I should have written to you before this 
time, & given an account of my journey to the south- 
ward, but only waited to receive an answer from M r Adams 
about some things relative to the affair you proposed to 
me, & of which I communicated something in my last 
letter. But as I find by what you wrote since to M* E. 
that this has become a very serious object of your atten- 

lf on a mossy bank I sleep 
Pismires and crickets o'er me creep, 
Or near the purling rill am seen 
There dire musquitos peirce my skin. 
Yet such delights I seldom see 
Confind to house and family. 

4 All summer long I toil & sweat, 
Blister my hands, and scold & fret. 
And when the summer's work is o'er, 
New toils arise from Autumn's store. 
Corn must be husk'd, and pork be kill'd, 
The house with all confusion fill'd. 
O could you see the grand display 
Upon our annual butchering day, — 
See me look like ten thousand sluts, 
My kitchen spread with grease & guts, — 
You'd lift your hands surpris'd, & swear 
That Mother Trisket's* self were there. 

'Yet starch'd up folks that live in town, 
That lounge upon your beds till noon, 
That never tire yourselves with work, 
Unless with handling knife & fork, 
Come, see the sweets of country life, 
Display'd in Parson B 's wife.' " 

A noted Quean, formerly y e jail keeper's wife in Boston." — Eds. 


tion & the thought of leaving Dover is matured beyond 
my expectation, so that you think of 3 or 4 weeks de- 
ciding the matter, the travels of your friend, with all the 
sentimental observations, anecdotes, &c, must be set 
aside till a future & more convenient opportunity. 

I communicated the plan of the Academy to a number 
of gentlemen, & all of them expressed their approbation 
& pleasure, tho', I am obliged to say, like men of y e 
world, they made it an object of their wishes rather than 
manifested activity in pushing it forward. I judged it to 
be your desire to have your name concealed, & only 
mentioned it to M r Adams, Bp Barrett, & M r Lowell, who 
were a committee with others to consider what plan of 
education would be most beneficial to the town. I 
thought it lucky to have received your proposals before 
these gentlemen carried their report to the town. It 
seems, however, that they have not yet come together, 
owing to one or other being absent at the time appointed, 
as they say, or, as I may observe, to a vis inertia? w ch per- 
vades the whole body. Within these few days M r A. 
told me that he expected soon to collect the minds of 
this committee, & begged of me to defer the matter for 
their opinion, as they were persons of great influence 
among the people, and might be of advantage to you, 
whether you built upon the public or a more private 

I could wish, therefore, (tho' I am loth to differ from 
you who always act from the most prudential considera- 
tions, & must have many circumstances before you of 
which it is impossible that I should be able to judge of 
equally with yourself,) that you had waited the moving 
of the waters, & not openly decided with your people till 
the fall. Dick Campney told here that you was about 
leaving your parish, which I rather denied to Thayer, & 
spoke of otherways as a mistake. I wanted to have it 
thought in this town that the plan of having an Academy 

1782.] JOHN ELIOT. 231 

for the Belles Lettres originated with us, & that it was of 
so much importance to have a person compleatly qualified 
at the head, that we shd. be under obligations to you for 
coining to Boston. But whether now it will not be 
thought a scheme in you meerly to get into business, & 
therefore be less advantageous, I cannot but say I am a 
little afraid. Such a fear ariseth from the warmth of my 
friendship, & a most earnest wish for your ease & com- 
fortable subsistence, and I beg of you to excuse me in 
writing thus freely. 

If you have finished the matter, & mean directly to 
change your mode of life, there is no kind of service but 
what I will render to you, esteeming it a pleasure to 
execute, as far as I am able, your most particular desires. 
You have many friends who with equal sincerity wish 
your welfare & happyness. 

Your brother Sam will write, as I suppose, from whom 
you will receive superior advice, & whose opinion in most 
cases, experience of the advantage has taught me to 
prefer before the rest of my acquaintance. 

I am much pleased with the MS. you put into my 
hands. It is very different from the disquisition of the 
learned D r M., which he has forwarded to the Academy 
of Lyons, styled " An Detectio Regionum Americanorum 
sit noxia humano Generi ? " I will return it according 
to your desire, with my sentiments more particularly 

We are all well & send our regards. Tell Ruthy to let 
her "moderation be known to all women." Write soon, 
& acquaint me with the minutiae of your present situ- 

I am your affectionate friend and humble servant, 

John Eliot. 



Reverend M r Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, August 14, [1782]. 

Rev? & dear Sir, — I have not lately received from 
you any thing particular, yet will venture to write by 
the post, and make a few inquiries after your welfare, as 
well as express my best wishes on your behalf. 

Your situation remains very critical, as I learn from 
Sam. The plan for a Council to convene at Dover ap- 
pears to me wise & judicious ; for upon supposition 
they advise your dismission, this will raise your reputa- 
tion in y e world, among people especially who must ask 
a reason for every thing w°. h is done, but who would rest 
entirely satisfied by your regarding the council of others. 
And methinks they cannot but consent to your dismis- 
sion upon the representation you make of the matter, as 
the consequences must be so detrimental to you if you 
still retain a connection with your people. May you have 
all that wisdom which is profitable to direct you upon 
the occasion, & hoping for the best, may you preserve a 
calmness & fortitude of mind, and not find yourself cast 
down by any of the cares which compass you about. 

I spake my mind very freely concerning your affairs 
to Col. Waters, whom I saw upon the ferry-ways, & by 
whom I should have written had I been acquainted w r ith 
the opportunity. I suppose that he mentioned seeing 
me. I shall earnestly wait to hear from you whether 
anything decisive hath taken place. 

My own health & circumstances are in statu quo. I am 
unmarried & likely to be so. (La you. I never thought of 
a ryme, but Saul will run among the prophets sometimes. 
There liked to be another, only y e plural number made 
a bother. Well, I shall be so capital in this way as not 
to go to my wife for a description of my life. I had the 

1782.] JOHN ELIOT. 233 

pleasure of seeing something of this kind very much to 
my mind by a country parsons lady.* It was shewn to 
me at Philadelphia, but the couple live eastward of that 

Next to myself comes the state of the town of Boston. 
Here are Frenchmen plenty. A large fleet refitting hath 
given a spring to the town, which before was like a pool 
long stagnant. Monsieurs had a most terrible basting in 
the W. Indies. More than we think for. However, it 
was all accidental, they say, & they should beat y e British 
upon another tryal. 

Nothing less than peace is now talked off. Indeed, 
the British seem desirous of it, & surely we ought to be 
no less weary of war. Still I think there is an obstacle 
in the way, & we shall talk more of it before we feel its 
happy effects. We shall know from the papers of to- 

I drank tea with M r Gorehamf this afternoon. He has 
just come home from a journey to y e county of Hampshire 
w ch he made with M r Adams & others by order of court. 
We have a riotous gentry there, & it is hoped that these 
gentlemen have taken those wise & prudent steps neces- 
sary] to calm if not to quell them. My G. thinks they 
[have] done good by going, having convinced the people 
[how] much they have been deceived by false reports, 
&c, [and] drawn from them a confession of their folly & 
a desire [to] be reinstated in the good opinion of their 

One other thing of a different nature I must mention 
before I leave you. D r Chauncy's MS. is in the press. 
Not the critical remarks, only just a part, which is a meer 
castrated edition of the whole work. It will be anony- 

* See note, ante, p. 228. — Eds. 

t Nathaniel Gorham, born in Charlestown, May 27, 1738, died June 11, 1796. He 
took a leading part in public affairs, and held numerous important offices. He was 
especially conspicuous as a member of the Convention which framed the Constitution 
of the United States, and was active in securing its ratification by the Convention of 
Massachusetts, of which he was also a member. — Eds. 


mous. I think it will admit of more bad than good con- 
sequences at such a time & in such a mariner. Perhaps 
I am mistaken. 

Yrs., Joiin/ Eliot. 


Rev. Jeremy Belknap at Dover. 

Rev d Sir, — The town of Wakefield, considering their 
unsettled state in regard to the Gospel ministry, have set 
apart Thursday, the 12 th day of instant Sept r , as a day of 
fasting & prayer that they may obtain the Divine blessing 
in that regard, and have agreed to desire the assistance 
of the Rev. Mess rs James Pike, Jeremy Belknap, Joseph 
Haven, Isaac Stasey, & Nehemiah Ordway on that occa- 
sion. These are therefore earnestly to desire your pres- 
ence & assistance on s d day. 

Wakefield, Sept r 4 th , 1782. 

Simeon Dearbon, ) Commte* 

7 > of the 

Avery Hall, j Town. 

Rev. M r Belknap. 


Boston, Sep r . 30, 1782. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — From your last letter I judged 
you to be in pretty good spirits, & that you had received 
some promises at least of better treatment from your 
people. You wrote in terms still stronger to your brother. 
I have waited in earnest expectation since of hearing 
from you, lest they should be only playing off the old 
game of giving temporary satisfaction, &c, without cen- 

* This letter is printed from the original document; and the signatures are believed to 
he autographs. But to other letters anion- the Belknap Papers the signature is Dearborn, 
— Eds. 

1782.] JOHN ELIOT. 235 

tering in the proper point. I was much desirous of spend- 
ing the month of September, or a part of it, in a ride to 
Dover, but have been prevented by the company of my 
brother in Boston, & who will not leave town till the next 
week. Sam wants me then to go with him to Haverhill, 
& I dont know but I shall make it convenient. Could 
I provide myself with a horse & supply my pulpit for the 
next Sabbath, nothing would hinder me from proceeding 
further eastward. But my brother Siah will go to New- 
port with the nag I was to ride, & I know not of any 
body who will make an exchange. M r Buckminster hath 
been in town, & it would have been just the thing for me 
to have gone to Portsmouth, & what he wished as well as 

I have my fears now w T hether I shall see you this fall, 
it grows so late in the season. Allowing this to be the 
case, you will have so much more of my company in 
the spring. For once a year I will, out of regard to my 
health & comfort, be absent a few weeks ; and there 
will be no Southern tour to divert my mind for the 

You desired me to give some account of my Southern 
journey, which I am ready to do, only I know not where 
to begin. The most entertaining things in it were the 
view of the army, the town of Bethlehem, the city of 
Philadelphia, and I imagine that I gave you some de- 
scription of them when you was in town. If I remember 
right, I delivered to you likewise my opinion of some 
principal characters. It would be tedious to repeat, & 
therefore I am at a loss what to say. I will, however, 
for Ruthy's edification, give a short account of the Mora- 
vian girls at Bethlehem. 

You have doubtless heard of the Moravians, the follow- 
ers of Count Zinzendorff, who in somewhat large bodies 
came over to Pensylvania about 50 years ago, & settled 
in a fertile & beautiful spot upon the River Lehse, not 20 
miles from the Delawar. It is a compact settlement, & 


the houses all stone. One of the houses is called the 
House of the Single Women. It is about 100 feet long, 
& above 60 are accommodated, as I judge fm. the number 
of beds, to which apartment, the upper loft of the whole 
house, I was introduced by the matron of the house, — 
a woman similar to a Lady Abbess in nunneries. The 
whole house is a picture of industry & diligence. In 
one room they are weaving, in another knitting, another 
carding, spinning in a fourth, &c. So likewise are all 
branches of the needlework, &c. carried- on, drawing, 
&c. Opposite to this house is another of equal bigness, 
where the single men reside. Nor is there any commu- 
nication between the sexes. I think I mentioned how 
they conduct the matrimonial process, If not, it shall be 
the subject of my next letter. The girls are disagreable 
& ugly, of a wan complexion, and do not appear as if they 
really enjoyed life. They are kept too much confined, & 
not allowed even in their prison, as it may well be called, 
any recreation or amusement, without it is a walk in the 
garden adjoining to the house. There are very fine gar- 
dens over the town, and the finest prospects from the 
top of these buildings, from whence we took a view of 
the country. One of the principal men of the place told 
me that he could never forgive the people of Boston (by 
whom they mean all N. England) for their cruelty exer- 
cised upon the daughter of Count Zinzendorff, whom they 
stripped, whipped at the cart's tail, &c. Have you met 
with any account of this? So much for the journey, & 
enough for the present. 

I have now to mention some matters nearer home. 
We are here all in a flame aboirt the controversy con- 
cerning the duration of future punishment. D r Chauncy 
& Clarke have let the cat out of y e bag. They begun 
by printing a sermon, or rather essay, containing the 
opinions of others upon this subject, which by no means 
served their cause, for it is not well done. Clarke then 
opened the subject in the pulpit, & in conversation with 

1782.] JOHN ELIOT. 237 

his people, and it hath given universal disgust. Your 
brother Sam is raving, and condemns Clarke, bell, book, 
& candle. (His prejudices are strong, nor do I think he 
is disposed to do justice to that gentleman, whose merit 
is great, and who, tho' imprudent in this affair, is not 

Instead of pleasing the rational part of the town & 
country, such I mean as are even friendly to this subject 
as a matter of speculation, it is thought by them that it 
will admit of very bad consequences, and that this time 
was the improper to start such a controversy. None but 
the Murrayites among my acquaintance are satisfied, & 
they not by being converted over to these notions of 
future happyness contained in D r C. MS., but only as 
they y n . k that they have made a prize of the ministers. 
They are bold to say that they will be Murrayites soon, 
that they have given up the main point & are coming 
over as fast as they can. It will be a rich harvest for 
the Baptists likewise. In short, I am mad about their 
whole conduct, & think that they have gotten us into a 
direful hobble. And if I could run away from Boston, 
I would be content not to see the place for 7 years, & 
heartily repent my setting down here in the ministry. 
We must now be continually exposed to the fury of 
storms & hurricanes. 

What think you about political matters? Here also 
they are for war. I am not certain but you will see the 
British standard upon Great Island or Kittery Point. It 
is necessary to talk French, or you would be a stranger 
in the streets of Boston. I wish we were rid of them. 

You asked me for one of my sermons. I have not one, 
even for myself. My brother must go home without 
them. I had only six, w ch I gave away under the promise 
of more, but few were printed. 

I have a dark blue coat w ch was too small for me, & 
which I never wore much, nor has it been turned. If I 


could send it to Portsmouth, it might do for one of your 
boys, & will keep it till I hear from you. 

My brother & all friends send their respects. 

I am yrs., &c, J. Eliot. 


Reverend M r Belknap, Dover, N. Hampshire. 

Boston, Decern 1 7 th , 1782. 

Dear Sir, — Since I saw you last we have been here 
in an unhappy state with regard to the peculiar senti- 
ments of the day ; I fear what will be the end of the 
matter. I find no proselites to the opinions contained 
in the pamphlet lately published with so much celebrity. 
Not a single Murrayite hath been brought over to the 
faith. Men of no religion laugh at the broils of the 
clergy. The orthodox are highly offended. Have you 
seen the dispute between D r Mather* and Clarke ? The 
D rs pamphlet partook of the rabies of the family. It is 
weak, quaint, pettish, with the pomposity of his father 
when he used to slay the Philistines. Never was a finer 
opportunity for M r Clarke to shew himself to advantage 
than was here afforded to him. He soon made it known 
among his friends, and it was whispered at large, that he 
was about to answer the Doctor. From M r Clark's repu- 
tation much was expected. Had he entered into the 
argument, and treated the subject delicately, he would 
have obliged his friends, served his cause, and gained a 

* Rev. Samuel Mather, D. D., son of Cotton Mather, born in Boston, Oct. 30. 1706, grad- 
uated at Harvard (Allege in 1723, ordained over the Second Church as colleague with 
Rev. Joshua Gee in 1732. and dismissed in 1741, when he became minister of anew society, 
to which he preached until his death. June 27. 1785. Mo*t of the scceders then returned 
to the Second Church, and the new society became extinct. In 1782 he published a 
pamphlet entitled " All Men will not be saved forever, or an Attempt to prove that this is 
a Scriptural Doctrine," and intended as an "Answer to an insidious Pamphlet entitled 
' Salvation for all Men.' " (See Robbins's History of the Second Church, pp. 119-123.) 
— Ens. 

1782.] JOHN ELIOT. 239 

reputation. Instead of this, he threw a weapon into the 
hands of his opponents, with which they cease not to 
maul him. We had held M r C. up to the world as a per- 
son of a most amiable temper, of wit and good sense. 
They ask if this is a sample of them. They who were 
doubting about the truth of the opinion are put two 
steps back, rather than one forward, for they had looked 
for compleat satisfaction, instead of a parade of satyre. 

Observe the consequence which it hath upon our so- 
cieties. My C. preached for me on the morning of the 
Thanksgiving. All the deacons left the meeting, & above 
30 others, who declare that they will never hear him. 
Some principal characters have told me that I must not 
change with him. Upon which I answer[ed] that I 
should do it. It was none of y r business w* M r C. thought, 
if he did not croud his sentiments down their throats. I 
am fully determined not to give up this point, or make a 
breach in the churches ; and I expect so much influence 
as to withstand & overset the conduct of these bigots & 
people righteous overmuch. A person nearly related, to 
you & me, whose prejudices against that gentleman are 
as acrimonious as they are without foundation, hath in- 
jured him as much as any body in my parish as well as 
in the church he usually attends. I believe it is the sin- 
cere wish of his heart, indeed he hath expressed it, that 
C. might not be allowed to preach anywhere. This hath 
produced some disputes between us, in which he thinks 
me uncandid towards him in supposing him destitute of 
candour, & much too bitter against his bitterness. So 
much for theological affairs. 

Now for politics. What think you of the news of the 
day ? If you was here, you would be compleatly French- 
ified. Nor can we tell when they will leave us. A 
mutiny is likely to prevail throughout our army. It is 
said that all the officers of the Massachusetts Line have 
fixed upon the first January to throw up their commis- 


sions. I had this from more than one young officer who 
hath signed the agreement. Older officers are silent 
when they are questioned upon the matter. I don't 
much fear the thing. So many of our officers were 
made gentlemen upon going into the army, & are sensible 
their military livery is the only thing w ch gives them a 
right to such a character, that it seems probable that 
they had rather consider twice than submit to a meta- 
morphosis. What they require is half-pay thro' life, w ch 
our General Court are not disposed to grant. It is a 
shame, tho', that they should be treated as they are now. 
A person lately come from camp told me that [torn] not 
obtain a glass of wine or grogg in the army ; and [torn] 
some of whom had estates elsewhere had nothing better 
than water to drink for weeks. It is a sweet morsel, 
however, that they are fighting for Liberty. 

Our family present their regards. Remember me to 
all friends at Dover, and write soon. Had I time I would 
transcribe a letter of Major Shaw's, just received; but it 
must be deferred, tho' it contains something curious. 

I am yrs., &c. ? 

John Eliot. 

Rev d M r Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, February 4, 1783. 

Dear Sir, — For above a month I have had a letter 
by me without being able to procure an opportunity to 
send it, which has quite discouraged me from writing 
letters beforehand. I hope, however, things will turn, 
and as the spring opens the passing will be more free. 
Did you ever know such cold weather ? Monday morn- 
ing Farenheit's therm, was 2 deg. lower than ever 
known. I could wish myself ductus in matrimonio most 

1783.] PETER THACHER. 241 

of these cold nights. It is better to marry surely than 
to freeze. So much for that. 

Now for the pudding. Brother Clarke doth not succeed 
better than [he] did at first. Have you seen Eckley's 
performance ? It is wri[tten in] good temper, but in the 
rant of Hopkintonism. Let me kn[ow what] pamphlets 
you wish to see upon the controversy, w^ have been pub- 
lished] in Boston. My situation is peculiarly delicate. 

The earnest elocution, rising even to a foam of ? is 

of no advantage to me. 

What think you of a peace ? Can there be so much 
smoke without some fire ? Most people believe it will 
take place. To be sure, the seat of war will be moved. 
And if they do fight in the West Indies, it will be in 
earnest, so that the ocean will be somewhat colored. 
May a negotiation prevent all this ! 

We have two professorships established at Cambridge ; 
one, Surgery & Anatomy, DT Warren ; another, the The- 
ory & Practice of Physic, D r Waterhouse. There will be 
another soon elected for Materia Medica & Chemistry. 
You must call it Cambridge University. 

Adieu for the present. 

Yrs., John Eliot. 

To the Rev. M r Jeremy Belknap, Dover. 

Malden, Feb. 24, 1783. 

Dear Sir, — Capt n Green, the bearer of this, you 
know to be one of the dearest of my friends. This 
would, I flatter myself, entitle him to your attention and 
regard, had you no other acquaintance with him. He 
will inform you of much talk about Cambridge ; it is a 
matter of importance ; but I fear breaking my neck 
rushing up stairs. He will tell you what proposals I 



have made to my people. I wish you could write me 
a line or two with your opinion upon the subject. If I 
am wrong, I pray you to correct me with the tenderness 
& fidelity of a friend. I congratulate you on the pros- 
pect of peace. We are well ; I hope you are so, & am, 
with my kindest regards to M rs Belknap, 

In very g* haste, y r affectionate friend & bro., 

Peter Thacher. 


[February or March, 17 S3.] 

My dear Sir, — You cannot ask anything of me but 
what I think myself under obligation to perform to y e 
extent of my ability, & I hope my willingness is equal 
to my sense of the obligation. But the advice you desire 
of me now demands a more thorough knowledge of cir- 
cumstances, some of them peculiarly delicate, than it is 
possible for me to have without being on the spot, & 
being personally conversant both at Maiden & Cambridge. 
From some of M r G's conversation I gather that your 
mind is in somewhat of a similar situation to mine this 
time twelve months. I was convinced of the necessity 
& propriety of making a stir ; I knew it could not be 
done without risque ; I tho't my circumstances were such 
as to justify a risque, & I imagined the probability was 
on y e side of my leaving this place. (But I had no pros- 
pect of any other ; in this latter part my case & yours 
differ.) I did not wish the people any ill ; I tho't they 
might easily get one that would suit y m as well or better. 
I was loth to say anything to their disadvantage, or that 
would hurt their character. I therefore had, I may say, 
the generosity to wish that my departure might be made 
without any accusation on my part against them, & I 
knew there could be none on their part against me. But 
I found the way entirely shut up from making any such 

1783.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 243 

movement. If I went away, there must be a reason given 
for it, or I could not be justified in y e eyes of y e discern 8 
& judicious whose good opinion I would wish to preserve, 
& if a reason was given, it must operate to y e disadvan- 
tage of my people. But prudence & even justice re- 
quired that they should have opportunity to remove the 
cause. They had, & it was removed. 

So far I have considered your circumstances as similar 
to mine. In one respect there is a dissimilitude. You 
have an invitation, I understand, from some respectable 
persons. 200 guineas in fob is a pretty douceur. The 
advantage of educating your children is an object worthy 
any man's attention. An elevated station of usefulness 
will require proportionable attention to study, & yet, your 
avocations being multiplied & your social disposition con- 
curring, it cannot be expected that your hours of study 
will be more than now, if so many. It ought also to be 
considered whether you could submit to & persist in such 
an unvaried mediocrity of principles, temper, & conduct 
as from above 60 years experience has been found y e 
surest preservative of reputation & usefulness in that 
"city set on a hill." Such an affair was agitated many 
years ago in y e removal of M r Fitch from Ipswich to 
Portsm , of w h his grandson, A. W., can inform you, who 
has a MS. of M r F's in his hands w h I once saw, cont g 
some tho'ts on translations.* These are some of the ad- 
vantages & disadvantages that obviously present them- 
selves, & w h require to be well balanced in your mind 
before you allow it to depart from its equipoise ; but sup- 
posing it to preponderate toward a removal, two things 
are essential in my view before the way can be cleared. 
The first is a regular, united call from Cambridge ; the 
other is the advice of an Ecclesiastical Council in favour 
of your acceptance ; & without a concurrence of both 

* See letter of Rev. Jabez Fitch, ante, p. 3. — Eds. 


these, I think you cannot proceed a step but at y e risque 
of your character. 

As to the former, I should not scruple to give it as my 
opinion, that, considering the peculiar circumstances of 
Cambridge, they had a right to give a call to any settled 
minister in the country ; but I would not have them 
exercise this right without advice, & without the con- 
currence of the govern* of the College. Should it be the 
advice of those whom they tho't proper to consult that 
the choice sh d fall upon you, & should the College concur, 
I think this would have weight with any Council whom 
you might consult on the question ; but your people must 
have an hearing before it can be determined, & if it 
should appear that they have complied with their en- 
gagements to you, & were united in their affections to- 
ward you, & loth that you should leave them, I must 
confess that I should be at a loss (were I a member of 
that Council) what advice to give, unless some circum- 
stances which I do not foresee should arise. 

This, my dear Sir, is all that I can think of at present. 
M r G. will tarry a day or two, & I will revolve the matter 
in my mind, & if any farther tho'ts should whirl up I 
will pen them. 


Malden, March 10, 1783. 

My d u Sir, — I embrace this first leisure moment to 
thank you for your kind letter. It was really refreshing, 
and I thought it one of the most judicious which you or 
anybody else ever wrote, because it exactly agreed with 
my own sentiments on the subject. 

The invitation to Cambridge was very unexpected to 
me; it came from the government of the College, who 
were at pains to collect the sentiments of the people upon 

1783.] PETER THACHER. 245 

the subject ; my friends urged the matter much, & the 
President with the Professors made use of arguments 
which it would not be modest for me to repeat or just for 
me to feel the force of. Everything was engaged to be 
done which should be necessary to preserve my character 
fair in the view of the world, such as Councils, &c, and 
very large offers made me as to support & encourage- 
ment. I was told at the same time that nothing but my 
removal would prevent the opening of the Church of 
England there, or the seperation of the College from the 

You may think that y se offers flattered my pride ; phps 
yy did, but yy did not hide me from myself. I know 
my own abilities better y an any body else. I knew y* I 
could not fill so elevated a situation in a manner pleasing 
to myself. I knew y* I must be kept in a state of constant 
exertion, and you know y t I am not the only one of my 
family who prefers their ease to their ambition. I had 
examples before me of persons who had made a very 
good figure in a middling station, but who became con- 
temptible by being raised to an higher, and I feared the 
consequence. I knew that my mode of delivery was the 
principal inducement to those who invited me, and I had 
my doubts whether I could so well attend to the interests 
of religion in my own heart at Cambridge as I could at 
Maiden. These considerations made a deep impression 
upon my mind, which was kept in a state of constant agi- 
tation, when my people heard of the matter and took the 
alarm. Instantly a violent fermentation began. Grief, 
anger, & every other passion, seemed to be exercised 
among them. I saw I could not get away without a 
violent convulsion. I did not feel myself disposed to 
hazard such an one. I dreaded laceration upon the occa- 
I sion, and therefore, in consequence of their application 
| to me, I intimated to my people that, provided they 
would deal justly & generously by me in time to come, I 


would give up the thoughts of removing. Some of them 
offered to bind their estates to see me punctually paid 
in time to come, and I shall require of the parish the im- 
mediate payment of my arrears, and to make up my 
salary to one hundred pounds whenever peace shall take 
place. These, with some other domestic matters which 
are of trifling consequence (about repairs on the parson- 
age, &c), I have no doubt the people will readily grant, 
as they have discovered a very strong inclination & desire 
for me to stay, and they know that the matter now turns 
upon this very axis. 

I spent Friday last at Cambridge by appointment. All 
the governors of the College were with me. We talked 
over the subject with great good nature. " They appeared 
loth to say so, (you will p h ps suspect me of vanity, but it 
is true,) and yet I believe they think that it will not do 
for me to leave my people under such circumstances. I 
told them of the meeting of this week, & assured y m y* if 
my people discovered any ill humour towards me, or any 
backwardness to do what was just & generous, it would 
turn y e scale in my mind, & I should come to them with 
an easy hid. Friday next, I suppose, will carry my ulti- 

D r Appleton hath conducted in y e mattr as he hath 
done in every othr. He nevr let me, nor anybody else, 
know whether it was agreable or disagreable to him. He 
is ninety yrs old ! 

You may think y fc a numbr of circumstances I have 
mentioned were flattering to me. If it w r as so, I know 
that I felt much more pain than pleasure by the means. I 
have suppressed no part of the whole matter, & if I have 
been to blame I wish you would be so good as to point 
it out to me in y r next. Maiden w r as more agreable to my 
inclinations by far than Cambge. Here I am my own 
master ; y re I must be everybody's serv* and feel myself 
surrounded with broken ministers ! ! ! Verbum sajnenti. 

1783.] JOHN ELIOT. 247 

It would be y e joy of my heart to accept y r k'd invita- 
tion, but I dread y e othr part of y e voyage, — bugs, dirt, 
nastiness ! Hinc illce lachrymaz ! 

M rs Thacher joins me in presenting her kindest love to 
M rs Belknap, & her regards to y r father & mother & Miss 
Nabby. We are all well. Pray let me hear from you 
soon. I will endeavour to communicate y e result to you 
as soon as I have it myself. Good, I trust, will come out 
of it upon the whole. 

I am, as I always was, y r obliged & affectionate fd. & ser fc , 

Peter Thacher. 

P. S. Ought I to rejoice in the addition made to my 
sister's family ? Natty is at camp. I had no thought of 
removing when the proposal was first made me ; yy all 
along had the idea of a translation. I dreaded lest it 
should be in a fiery chariot ! 

Rev. Jeremy Belknap. 

Reverend M r Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, March 13, 1783. 

Dear Sir, — I received your letter by M r . Hale, tho' 
not soon enough to mention it in my last. I have that 
& the other handed this week now before me. Was 
extremely disappointed at not seeing Jo. Haven, whose 
company would have [been] very agreable, as well as the 
opportunity it had given me of writing. 

I have advised Brother Clarke, as you suggested. Pre- 
judices run very high, tho' I think there is hardly such a 
hubbub about his opinions as the novelty of them at first 
excited. Those poetical squibs which we mutually agree 
in thinking absurd, if they don't take their rise, are much 
encouraged by you know who. He is not the author, but 


may be considered as the match which makes them pop 
off. Yet you know this man reads the 1 st & 58 th hymn in 
the book you alluded to. As to the matter of changing, 
I still continue to do it, but affront, grieve, vex some. 
That little fag-end of all things contemptible, D n S-mp- 
k-ns, swells & flouts without being able to gain the least 
influence. He tried to break up the connection between 
M r L. & myself in the lecture we hold together. I gave 
out word that they might get ministers then to supply of 
their own, but I would neither preach nor attend upon 
them. People were more displeased with his silly offi- 
cio usness than with my resolution. 

You ask me what is the matter at Maiden. There has 
been an hint given to Brother Thatcher to leave that 
place, & go to Cambridge. He may have a unanimous 
invitation, I suppose. No other man is so popular there, 
& I find that the President & other gentlemen of y e 
College have encouraged the thing. They think that he 
would be a good model of pulpit oratory to set before the 
youth. M r T., however, will not leave Maiden, for fear 
of displeasing the people. I think he may be less scru- 
pulous, with a very good conscience. 

At Charlestown they have made choice of M r D wight,* 
member of the General Court from Northampton, for their 
pastor, — a gentleman much distinguished in the place he 
now holds as a fluent, oratorical speaker, a man of a lib- 
eral mind, and an enthusiastic friend to science. He has 
carried thro' the House an act in favor of literary prop- 
erty, which arose from what you mentioned, viz* a debate 
upon the subject in the Connecticut paper. It seems M r 
Trumbull had agreed with a printer in Hartford to print 
off 2 or 300 copies of his M°Fingal. He was to have 3s 

* Rev. Timothy Dwight, D. D., born in Northampton, May 14, 1752, graduated at Yale 
College in 1769, served in the Massachusetts Legislature for two years, was ordained min- 
ister of the church in Greenfield, Conn., in 178;), made President of Yale College in 1795, 
and died in New Haven, Jan. 11, 1817. (See Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit, 
Vol. ii. pp. 152-1G5.) — Eds. 

1783.] JOHN ELIOT. 249 

a book from the subscribers. As soon as the book came 
out, however, another printer struck off an impression 
upon poor paper, with a type proportionably mean, & sold 
it for less money. On which the friends of the author of 
M C F. made a stir about literary property. My D. was one 
of these, and came to the General Court boiling over with 
a desire to make the thing go down in our State. I heard 
there was a demur in the Senate, but wish that the act 
may pass. It would be worth your consideration in N. 
Hampshire, & it will be necessary to have it pass down in 
other States ; otherwise it can be of no great benefit 
here. Was I in your place, I never would let my History 
go out of my hands without a suitable reward from the 
printer. You may obtain what you please some time 
hence. To recur to M r Dwight, I have given you his 
political character. As a divine, he is a compleat bigot on 
the plan of his grandfather, M r Edwards. He has studied 
little else in divinity but that scheme. He thunders out 
his anathemas against all them ivho stir the padding. He 
hath said (I know he hath the vanity to think so) that he 
supposed himself raised up in Providence to overset this 
system of errors. 

Thus do we behold a liberal politician turned into a 
mean-spirited divine. 

Tom Abbot is dismissed from his people at Roxbury. 
[fern] perfect brute is he, wallowing in the mire of intem- 

As to peace, we tremble. What could induce Mf 
Ada[ms to] resign his commission, except the treaty 
were dishonorable?! 

* Rev. Thomas Abbot, born in Charlestown, May 31, 1745, graduated at Harvard 
College in 1764-, was ordained over the Second Church in Roxbury, Sept. 29, 1773, dis- 
missed March 10, 1783, and died in Brookline, Nov. 1, 1789. — Eds. 

f Immediately after the signing of the preliminaries of peace, Jan. 21, 1783, Mr. Adams, 
feeling that the chief object of his mission had been accomplished, asked leave to return 
home. But Congress was unwilling to accede to his request, and he remained abroad to 
negotiate a commercial treaty with Great Britain. (See Adams's Works of John Adams, 
vol. i. p. 400.) - Eds. 


The army are not sensible what power they have in 
their hands. They may do great things, but a fond- 
ness for domestic scenes of happiness prevalent in the 
bosoms of so many will stop the cry, in a great measure, 
even of their demands for justice. 

Polly will be married in a week or two. I hope to see 
Dover in May. And am with due respects in the mean- 

Your affectionate friend & humble servant, 

John Eliot. 

P. S. Mathetees Archaios is too despicable to have any- 
thing said about it. 


Sir, — I wrote to you last November & February, in- 
form 5 you y* I had an History of N. H. ready for the 
press, & proposing either to sell you y e copy or print an 
ed u here, & send it to you sheet by sheet as it conies from 
the press, y t you m* have an ed n ready for publication in 
Engl d as soon as y e American ed a sh d be prepared, & de- 
siring to know what advantage I might expect in case 
you acceeded to either of these proposals. Having heard 
noth g in answer, & peace in y e mean time having taken 
place, I have this spring consented to y e issuing proposals 
for an ed n to be printed in Phil a , & y e subscription will be 
closed by y e 1 st of August. Notwithstand 6 this, it will be 
in my power to delay y e publication here to what time I 
please, & if you think proper to accept y e proposal of re- 
ciev g y e copy sheet by sheet from y e press, so as to have 
an ed n ready in Engl d as soon as here, you will please to 

* This letter is printed from a rough draft preserved by Mr. Belknap. Mr. Longman 
was the founder of the great publishing firm of Longman & Co., and was already a lead- 
ing bookseller and publisher in London. — Eds. 

1783.] JOSEPH RUSSELL. 251 

enter into an agreem* w M r Sam 1 Eliot, who will be with 
you & who is impowered to act in my behalf. 

June 17, 1783. 
M r Longman. 


Sir, — I had the honor of writing to you last Nov 1 ; & 
Feb? concerning the printing of y e History w h was begun 
under your kind encouragem fc , since w h that most desirable 
event, peace, having taken place, I have consented to y e 
publica of an American ed n , & have empowered my friend 
M r S. E. to contract for y e right of publish 8 one in Lond?. 
It would be a great addition to y e value of y e work if it 
could be embellished with a map of N. H., & as I suppose 
a complete one is in your hands, I would ask y e favor of 
you to permit it to be reduced to a small scale, so as to 
be comprized in a sheet & prefixed to y e vol. If this re- 
quest should be agreeable to you, be so kind as to send a 
line of inform* to M r E., at y e house of Wright & Gill 
in Ab-Church Lane, & y e favor will be gratefully rec d by 
y r most obliged & obed fc serv*, 

J. B. 

June 17, 1783. 
Gov. Wentworth. 


Boston, 23 June, 1783. 

My dear Sir, — Having, agreable to your request, 
made every inquiry respecting the manuscripts of Gov r 
Belcher, I am to inform you there are none left in y e pos- 
session of Cap* Lyde. By accident I met with two more 
volumes of his letters, which I have put on board of y e 

* See note, post, p. 290. — Eds. 


Portsmouth pacquet, and ordered into the hands of M r 
Daniel Pierce to be forwarded to you immediately. You 
will please to keep them as long as you find it necessary 
to take any extracts from them, and you will please 
to return them, as I obtained them on those conditions. 
If they should be of use to you I shall think myself happy 
in sending them. My best wishes attend you, and believe 
me to be, d r Sir, 

Your friend & hum. serv*, 

Jos. Kussell. 

Rev d M r Jer. Belknap. 


Rev d Jeremy Belknap, at Dover. 

Eev d Sir, — Whereas M r Moses Sweat has been calld 
to settle in the ministry at Wakefield, & has given them 
an answer in the negative, supposed on account of some 
objection to certain doctrines he has delivered. It w T as 
moved in Town Meeting by M r Sweat's adhearants to 
have the judgment of a number of ministers on those 
doctrines, & it was agreed to on the part of M r Sweat 
& by his opponents. M r Sweat chose the Eev d Messu rs 
Trask, Thair of Kingstown, & Mansfield ; the other part 
of the Council, Rev d Mess rs Macclentock, Stearns, & Bel- 
knap. These are therefore to desire your presence in 
Council for the purpose aforesaid, at Wakefield, on the 
9 th day of July next, at the house of Cap* David Copp. 

Simeon Dearborn, \ n .,, 
A TT ? > Committee. 

Avery Hall. J 

Wakefield, June 25, 1783. 
Rev d J. Belknap. 

1783.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 253 


To Simeon Dearborn, Esq., fy M r Avery Hall, to be communicated to y e 
Town of Wakefield. 

Dover, June 30, 1783. 

Gent n , — Yours of y e 25 th inst. came to my hands this 
morn g , requesting me to be one of a Council of Ministers 
who are to give "judgment upon certain doctrines," 
delivered by a gentleman who is said in your letter to 
have answered in y e negative a call you had given him 
to settle with you in the ministry. [You must allow 
me to say in answer, g n , that this proposal appears very 
strange & extraordinary.] That a gentleman should find 
himself under the necessity of negativing a call because 
his doctrines were disagreeable to a number of the peo- 
ple, & his settlem* would probably cause a division am g 
y m , is no new thing, but may be considered as an act of 
prudence for which he deserves commendation and re- 
spect. Such an answer might very justly be supposed 
to proceed from a benevolent desire to seek the peace of 
the Society, & if the same principle were prevalent am g 
them, it w d lead them to look for some other gentleman 
whose doctrines should be more agreable & not likely to 
cause divisions among them. At least this is my appre- 
hension of the matter [& I believe it has been the gen- 
eral practice among y e churches & parishes where I have 
been acquainted]. 

* This letter is printed from a rough draft, which has numerous erasures and interline- 
ations ; and in copying it to send to the committee Mr. Belknap apparently made impor- 
tant changes in the order in which the several topics were treated. These changes are 
sufficiently indicated by catch-words and other devices ; and the new arrangement has 
accordingly been followed in printing this draft. A few unfinished sentences, which are 
not wholly erased, but merely enclosed in brackets, have been omitted, as they probably 
were not in the letter afterward sent. Their substance is in other parts of the letter. The 
words within brackets which we have retained form complete clauses or sentences in 
themselves; and we have no means of determining whether it was intended to omit 
them. — Eds. 

2-54 THE BELKNAP PAPERS. [1783. 

But that after such a negative answer has been given 
a proposal should be made to call a Council to "judge 
of the doctrines " which have been ill received by one 
part of y e people, & acquiesced in by another part, ap- 
pears to me a measure y e tendency of which ought to be 
very seriously weighed before any step is taken to carry 
it into execution. Had you desired the opinion & advice 
of an Ecclesiastical Council with regard to y e expediency 
of calling a candidate to settle with you, naming y e per- 
son & describing his qualifications, & stating other cir- 
cumstances, or desiring the Council to enquire into them 
with a view to give their advice whether it were prudent 
for you to call him or for him to accept the call, — this I 
aprehend would have been a proper subject of discussion 
for a Council, which in y e nature of it is only advisory. 
But to call a Council to sit in judgment on certain doctrines 
is a matter of quite another kind, & to judge of them 
after the candidate who has delivered them has given an 
answer in the negative might seem rather impertinent. 
If the gentleman had good reasons to give a negative 
answer to y e call, why does lie not abide by it ? if he had 
not, why does he not withdraw r it ? When a negative 
answ r er is given & not withdrawn, it is natural to sup- 
pose the treaty is at an end ; therefore there can be 
no propriety in discussing points on w h y e determin a is 
grounded. If the gentleman knows y t his doctrines are 
disagreable to a part of y e people, & would be likely to 
create divisions am g y m , he did well to give a negative 
answer, & if this reason still subsists he is right to abide 
by his said answer, & if he does abide by it I know no 
business that a Council has in y e affair. But suppose a 
Council should convene agreeable to your letters, what 
are they to do ? Their commission, as circumscribed by 
the letters, is to "judge of certain doctrines." But who 
are they to judge for? if they are consistent Protestants 
(as I am persuaded all y e gent n named in your letters are) 

1783.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 255 

they would say, we can judge only for ourselves; you 
must judge for y r selvs, & perhaps part of y m would be of 
one mind & part of another, & this might be the case if 
you were to pick a dozen or 100 Councils from am 8 all y e 
Chhs. in America. Suppose a majority of them are of one 
mind, must y e minority submit their judgment to y m , & y e 
opinion of y e majority be declared the sense of y e Council? 
This might do in matters merely prudential, but not in 
points of faith, where conscience is controulable only by 
y e supreme tribunal. Supose y e maj'y determine one 
way, & y e min y protest ag s y m , as they have an undoubted 
right, w h part are you to recieve & submit to? But even 
supposing y e Council were unanimous, either for or ag s y e 
doctrines, what then ? must you recieve these doctrines, 
or reject y m with examin a , y e convic 11 of y r own minds ? 

No one who has been acquainted with ecclesiastical 
history can help know 8 that the calling of Councils to 
judge & determine articles of faith has been of y e most 
pernicious consequence to the true interest of religion. 
It was one of the steps by w h the antichristian power 
arose in y e Chh. When Christians left the word of God, 
&, refusing to exercise their right of judging of y e sense 
of Scripture, gave themselves up to the opinions & de- 
cisions of Councils, it was impossible to determine what 
was right, for it was no uncommon thing for Councils to 
be ag s Councils, & Fathers ag s Fathers. This disagree- 
ment led them to the idea of an infallible head, invested 
with decisive power to settle controversies & decree arti- 
cles of faith, & when this point was gained it was neces- 
sary to call in the civil in aid of the spiritual power to 
establish orthodoxy & banish heresy. But the words 
Orthodoxy & Heresy have changed their meaning oftener 
perhaps than any other words in the whole compass of 
language. The opinion of the prevail 8 party, be it what 
it would, was Orthodoxy, & y e contrary opinion Heresy, 
& by these means for a long succession of time truth 


was obscured, the Scriptures were neglected, charity was 
extinguished, ignorance, bigotry, tyranny, & persecution 
reigned triumphant, & the Man of Sin exalted himself 
above all y* was called God. 

I need not attempt to lead you thro' all the progres- 
sive steps by which this antichristian power has been for 
above 2 centuries past weakening & declining, & the 
Reformation established upon its ruins. It may be suffic* 
to observe, that it has been found by long experience 
that the 2 main pillars of the Reformation are, That 
the Scriptures are y e only standard of faith & practice, 
& That every man has a right & is obliged to judge for 
himself of the sense of Scripture. So long as we act upon 
these 2 principles, we can maintain our seperation from 
y e Chh. of Rome by unanswerable reasons ; but every de- 
viation from them is retreating a step towards the bosom 
of that mother of harlots & abominations. 

I know it has been too common a tiring am g Protes- 
tants to form & adhere to articles, creeds, & confessions 
of faith. But in this, as well as many other respects, 
Protestants have acted inconsistently, & they never can 
be consistent with themselves unless they disavow every 
standard of doctrine but the Bible, & allow every man right & 
oblig a to judge of its sense & meaning for himself; the con- 
sequence of w h is that we cannot judge for one another. 

Let me therefore address you in the words of y e Ap°, 
" Brethren, ye have been called to liberty." " Stand 
fast therefore in the liberty wherewith X hath made you 
free, & be not entangled again with the yoke of bond- 
age," — the } 7 oke of antichristian bondage, one part of 
w h is submission to y e opinions & decisions of uninspired 
men in matters of faith, & let me also remind you of y e 
words of our Ld J., — " Why even of y r own selves judge 
ye not what is right ? " 

G n , T hope my plainness will not give you offence. I 
am really concerned for you, & am afraid the measure 

1783.] SIMEON DEARBORN. 257 

you have taken is pregnant with evil & not calculated for 
good. While I continue in my present sentiments I can- 
not be a member of a Council to sit in judgm* on points 
of faith with betraying the cause of true Protestant Xy. 
You will think I have sufficient reason for declin g y r 
invita 11 . 

I am, &c. 


Eev d & dear S R , — I thank you for your kind & judi- 
tious letter. We 're very sencible of the impropriety of 
the measure proposed, but nothing less than a compliance 
would still the clammer- could wish y fc M r Sterns & M r 
Macclentock could be informed of your sentements ; 
should have done it myself, but fear'd bad consequences. 
As to M r Sweat's principles, think there is as great a 
jumble of inconsistances as ever met in one man : 'tis 
Pelagianism, Hopkintonism, & what not, jumbled together 
like Nebuchadns rs image, & yet the people strangely taken 
in by his low majick art. We have been confind in y e 
Dagon's temple with Dagon's head cut off, to show the 
superior excelency of the Supreme Being ; have had the 
Jewish Sabbath inculcated on us ; have been severely 
lash d for the Jews' disobedience ; have been taught y fc 
universional benevolence to the universional sistem is 
truly Christian, brotherly love & loving God with all the 
hart; that our natural abilities are abundantly sufficient 
to regenerate us without divine aids. I must leave the 
rest till I see you. In the mean time, am 

Your sincere friend & weak brother, 

Simeon Dearborn. 

Wakefield, July 3 rd , 1783. 

Rev* M r J. Belknap. 


258 • THE BELKNAP PAPERS. [1783. 

To the Christian Society in Wakefield. 

WnEREAS we have been informed by M r Sweat that 
some exceptions have been made ag s some discourses 
w ch he deliv d am g you, viz. upon Isa. 55. 4 and Malachi 
o. 10 ; & in particular that the great doctrine of the 
atonement is struck at ; and that we among others were 
appointed by mutual consent to give you our opinion 
respecting this matter; and as our circumstances are so 
peculiar at this time that it is not in our power to attend ; 
— we take this method to inform you & whom it may 
concern that we have attended to y e discourses excepted 
against & must say that we find nothing in them which 
we esteem contrary to truth & sound doctrine. And in 
particular it is our opinion that the doctrine of the atone- 
ment is fully contained in the discourse on Isaiah 55. 4. 
We must farther say, in justice to M r Sweat, that we never 
entertained any suspicion that he did not believe the doc- 
trine of the atonement, notwithstand s we have heard him 
preach divers times, & had repeated opportunities of con- 
versing with him upon religious subjects. 

Nath l Trask. 

Isaac Mansfield. 

Elisha Thayer. 


M r Jeremy Belknap, Boston, New England. 

London, July — , 1783. 

Sir, — Your favour of the 3 d of December last came 

safe to my hands under cover from my good friend M r 

Elliot. It will always be a pleasure to me to render 

every service in my power to any of his connections. 

* This letter is printed from a copy in the handwriting of Mr. Belknap. It is without 
date, but was probably written in July, 1783. — Eds. 

1783.] JOHN ELIOT. 259 

Am much obliged by the offer you have made me of 
purchasing the copyright of your History of New Hamp- 
shire. The following considerations will clearly shew the 
impropriety of my engaging in it. First, that it would 
be absolutely necessary for me to have the manuscript 
in my possession for a reasonable time to take the opinion 
of some literary friend upon the execution of. Secondly, 
as you have not mentioned what consideration you should 
expect for it. Perhaps these objections might be got over, 
but the most material with me is the apprehension that 
the history of one particular Province in New England 
would not be of sufficient importance to engage the atten- 
tion of this country, & particularly as it is at present 
brought down no lower than the year 1714. Upon the 
whole, it appears to me to be most for your advantage to 
print the book in America, and that when printed a num- 
ber of copies should be immediately sent over here which 
may be sold for your benefit. If this method should be 
adopted, and you should think it right to consign them 
to me, you may depend on my best services in promoting 
the sale, & 

I am, Sir, your most obd fc humble serv., 

Tho s Longman. 

P. S. Govern 1 " Wentworth has been with me & pro- 
posed writing to you. 


JRev? M r Belknap, Dover. 

Dear Sir, — I just write to tell you I cannot write. 
I have been taken up all the day with one thing or other, 
& it hath continued till I find that if I begin I shall not 
finish the letter. And so must bid you good-bye with 
telling you that we had a pleasant journey home, not- 
withstanding the warmth of the first day. M rs E. found 


her little boy sick of the scarlet fever. He died the nexl 
week. Several of the other children were taken down 
but thro' Divine blessing are recovered. She wishes tc 
send your little Andrew a set of overhauls, which I shall 
do by the first opportunity, & write more largely. 

Yrs., &c, 

John Eliot 

Indorsed by Mr. Belknap, "John Eliot, Aug. 15, 1783." 


Passy, Sept. 13, 1783 

Dear Sister, — I received your kind letter of April 
29, and am happy that the little supplies I sent you have 
contributed to make your life more comfortable. I shall 
by this opportunity order some more money into the 
hands of Cousin Williams, to be dispos'd of in assisting 
you as you may have occasion. 

Your project of taking a house for us to spend the 
remainder of our days in is a pleasing one ; but it is a 
project of the heart rather than of the head. You forget, 
as I sometimes do, that we are grown old, and that, before 
we can have furnish' d our house & put things in order, 
we shall probably be call'd away from it to a home more 
lasting, & I hope more agreable than any this world can 
afford us. \ 

Tell my Cousin Colas that the parson she recommended 
to me is gone to Rome, and it is reported has chang'd his 
Presbyterianism for the Catholic religion. I hope he got 
something to boot, because that would be a sort of proof 
that they allow'd our religion to be, so much at least, 
better than theirs. It would be pleasant if a Boston man 
should come to be Pope. Stranger things have happened. 

* Jane, seventeenth and youngest child of Josiah Franklin, was born March 27, 1712, 
married Edward Mecom, July 27, 1727, and died in 1795. (See Sparks's edition of the 
Works of Benjamin Franklin, vol. i. p. 546.) — Eds. 



Cousin Williams went back for Boston from London 
about the beginning of June, so that probably he is with 
you before this time. He laid out by my desire the 
money he receiv'd for you in goods which you will re- 
ceive of him. When you have sold them, perhaps it 
may be adviseable to put the money at interest, that it 
may produce you a little income. 

My two grandsons are now both with me, and present 
their duty. I am ever, my dear sister, 

Your affectionate brother, 

B. Franklin. 

Indorsed by Dr. Belknap, " D. r Franklin's Letter to his Sister about 
John Thayer." 


Rev d M r Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, Sep. 18, 1783. 

Dear Sir, — You may wonder at my not writing, and 
perhaps at my being in Portsmouth without reaching 
Dover ; for the last, I will urge in excuse I was engaged 
in very particular business, tho' not in a multiplicity of 
affairs. One object alone drew my attention, & I fancy 
will absorb my time, company, & thoughts as often as I 
travel eastward, & draw me there oftener than usual. I 
wish some business would press upon you that you would 
wish for an exchange one Sabbath between this & winter 
time. The spring will do, however, next best, & will 
propose it then, if I cannot obtain it this winter. I know 
Ruthy looks saucy, and you will shake your fat shoulders 
when you see me. You are welcome. I will laugh too, 
agreably to the old maxim, Let him laugh who wins. 

I saw your daughter Sally at M r Buckminster's. She 
told me that she was well, & left the family so, & suppose 
you received my compliments by her. My brother Sam, 


as I understand, sent you a bundle by Greenleaf. He, 
poor fellow, is very ill, — I think, going fast. The jaun- 
dice is upon him as bad as ever it was on M rs Eliot, & 
the doctors think will end in a dropsy of a like nature. 
I have seen persons as bad with the jaundice who recov- 
ered, but there is one circumstance in his case which hath 
not been in many others where any favorable symtoms 
have succeeded, which is the length of time the disorder 
hath had in coming upon him. Two years ago he ought 
to have used the same method of managing his constitu- 
tion which he does at present. It must certainly follow 
that the whole frame is much enervated, the disease prey- 
ing so long and constantly upon him, and then, you know, 
if he hath a temporary relief, yet all is but patchwork 
from the hands of physicians, & he may bid adieu to the 
glow of health. 

I wrote to Hazard, as I told you I would. He hath not 
given me an answer, being engaged, I supposed, deeply 
in matrimonial matters. Neither Venus or Hymen are 
favorable to the Muses, — the grave & sober ones, I mean. 
The gay & fanciful ones may go hand in hand with them, 
as I am told, & judge from reading some love songs, epitha- 
lamiums, &c. But mark my words. H. will not search 
historical records, musty parchments, &c, after marriage 
as he hath done before. You would not do it if you 
were not above the advice of your wife, in which you 
shew your good sense, for I heard her scold about it 
when I resided at your house, & know she would have 
persuaded you off the notion of writing history, to say 
no more. But Hazard is an old bachelor; they are 
always fond, doating husbands, & it is a wonder if his 
girl don't prove a speckled hen that will peck him. I 
guess Jo Russell & I have the largest & most respectable 
of all your subscription papers. 

All political matters seem to be out of ton, even to 
make any enquiry about them. They will not long re- 

1783.] JOHN ELIOT. 263 

main in this state of tranquillity. Army matters must 
be settled some way or rather. This will cause the polit- 
ical ocean to swell. 

And but little is said about theological, subjects just 
now. D r C's essay on Divine Benevolence will not ob- 
tain sufficient subscribers to make it worth to pursue the 
work, — for the printers. I mean. I found the Murray - 
ites at Portsmouth mistook this for the Pudding, — Sewal 
among the rest. Let them hug their mistake : perhaps it 
will encrease the number of people to encourage the work. 

Ordinations are much in fashion this way. Next week 
Bentley # is to be settled at Salem, and a M r Anning t in 
Boston, over the Presbytean church in Long Lane ; the 
week after, Brother Hitchcock at Providence, & your hum- 
ble servant is of the Council, which will interfere with my 
plan of journeying this fall. Hilliard hath a call to settle 
at Cambridge with D r Appleton. There are hardly any 
candidates to supply the parishes which are vacant. 

How have you determined about sending Josy to Phila- 
delphia ? There is an hospital on one of our islands for 
innoculating persons, if you chuse he should have the 
small pox. It is under the care of Warren & others, &c. 
Waters will be able to tell you the particulars. 

With all due aff[ection], 

I am [your frien]d & servant, 

John Eliot. 

* Rev. William Bentley, D. D., was born in Boston, June 22, 1759, graduated at Har- 
vard College in 1777, and was settled as colleague pastor of the Second or East Church, 
Salem, in 1783. He died there Dec. 29, 1819. (See Proceedings of Mass. Hist. Soc, vol. i. 
pp. 320-323.) — Eds. 

f Rev. Robert Annan. He was settled over the church in Long Lane, at that time a 
Presbyterian society, in 1783. In 1786 his connection with it terminated, and the society 
changed its affiliations from the Presbyterians and adopted the Congregationalist system. 
Previous to his settlement the society had been weakened by internal divisions. "Infelici- 
ties of temper seem to have prevented his restoring the harmony which was needed alike 
for comfort and for strength. In 1786 he left them, and became the minister of a congre- 
gation in the city of Philadelphia; whence he afterwards removed to Baltimore, and sub- 
sequently made his home in the interior of Pennsylvania." (See Gannett's Memorial of 
the Federal Street Meeting-house, p. 18.) Mr. Belknap was his successor as minister of the 
society in Long Lane. — Eds. 



Boston, October 22, 1783. 

Dear Sir, — When I was at Portsmouth the other day, 
I accidentally stumbled upon Jo. Haven of Rochester, & 
made him the medium of a message to you, which I sup- 
pose he delivered, & from it you concluded that I had not 
received the letter which I now have before me, & which 
I had the pleasure of receiving as soon as I reached 
Boston. In it you mention " having heard of your 
connection with the organist," &c, and thro' the whole 
express yourself with a kind of jocose approbation. Let 
me now, in the language of the most familiar friendship, 
ask you what are the observations of people your way, 
especially in the town of Portsmouth, concerning my 
visiting M r Treadwell's family. I mean considering me 
as a parson, & him as a pillar of friend Noah's society, 
which, you know, is a sanctum sanctorum of itself, and 
with whom all who bear the title of Rev d are profane & 
impious. I am led to ask this question because I have 
never yet heard the language of people, & yet they talk 
about it. Portsmouth people are somewhat communi- 
cative, & I find there needs the utmost caution about 
speaking ; for every word is scattered, & what is one's 
business is the business of every body. I have scarce 
spoke a word about any body or any thing without hear- 
ing of it again where I lest expected. Hence I never 
drop a word about religion. Even my friend Mitchel 
Sewall & I never discourse upon speculative points in 

Another thing I wish to know is, & perhaps you may 
hear from various sources of information, — the springs of 
their chit-chat being never dry, as I before observed, — 
what opinion the branches of the Treadwell & Rogers 
family have formed of Nancy's receiving my addresses 

1783.] JOHN ELIOT. 265 

& going to Boston, — particularly D r Cutter's family.* 
Something there suggested awakes my curiosity on this 
point. I hope you won't take it in dudgeon that I have 
not come to Dover in my late tours to Portsmouth. I 
find it hard to get time to turn round before I am obliged 
to set off for home. Preachers are so scarce that love 
or money will not procure them to supply our pulpits ; 
otherwise I would tarry over Sabbath. 

How are theological affairs with you now, as it respects 
the Pudding controversy ? Will Dy Chauncy be able to 
print, think you ? Subscribing business is very dull here, 
and I fear whether he will meet with any encouragement, 
or sufficient, for the essay on Divine Benevolence. 'Tis 
probable the Pudding will be boiled in England. 

I could not but laugh heartily to hear of the behaviour 
of the Murrayites last Sunday. I find that they all ad- 
journed to hear Brother Lathrop ; their dux gregis, honest 
Noah, marching at the head, who told M r L. that his heart 
had not been so much warmed in that meeting-house 
for 7 years. They spent y e evening at Jakes, a most 
devotional company. They sung & talked religion to the 
edification of each other, tho', if I judge rightly from 
M r L's account, Noah was not in his element. Sewall 
rather joined M r L. in the Chauncean scheme. Can you 
tell me why the Murrayites set up Lathrop so highly, & 
rather take pains to pull down Brother Clarke ? I wave 
mine own opinion. 

By the way of Philadelphia I have just received a 
letter from your brother Sam. It was w r ritten just after 
his arrival, & when he was in a great hurry. Be sure, 
said he, to let M r Belknap know this. They had a fine 
passage, only 29 days from Boston to Portsmouth. In 
that place, he saith, he was " gratified thro' the whole 
extent of gratification," owing to the company of one 
or two friends to whom he was introduced. 

* Rev. John Eliot was married to Ann, daughter of Jacob Treadwell, of Portsmouth, 
N. H.. Sept. 10, 1784. —Eds. 


I suppose you have read some part of Moore's Travels. 
Is he not a fine fellow ? The other volume I will send 
along by the first opportunity. 

How is it with Josey ? Have you determined to send 
him to Philadelphia? The last I heard of it was from a 
conversation with M rs Martin of Portsmouth, who con- 
firmed what you suggested to me. 

When I wrote last I represented the case of my brother 
Sam to be extremely hazardous. I did not expect he 
would have been alive at this time. Yet is he much 
better, & if he is prudent or circumspect about himself, 
there are no small hopes of a recovery. The rest of the 
family are well. Capt. Goodwin arrived the day before 
the last storm, — a most happy escape, for which we 
ought to be truly thankful. No small damage w T as done 
off the Cape, as we hear daily. 

A Boston Magazine, — to jump Uncle Tobically, — & 
who is the director ? M r Billings, the psalm singer. Did 
you ever see his Address to Dame Jargon, & other pieces 
at y e beginning of his book ? Well, we have one original 
genius among us. I send you a subscription paper put 
into my hands. It is one way of getting rid of it. 

Tell Ruthy not to be saucy. My love to her and the 
children, and am, 

With due affection & respect, 

Yrs., J. Elliot. 


Rev 6 : M r . Belknap, Dover. To be left at D n Penhallow's. 

Boston, October 30, [1783]. 

Dear Sir, — I have just received your letter, too late 
for this day's post. I shall send this to-morrow by Green- 
leaf. It is to inform you that I cannot comply with your 



desire. It will not be possible to leave Boston till the 
first Sabbath in December, & then it must depend upon 
there being no interference by a day of public Thanks- 

Your friend & servant, 

John Eliot. 


Rev? M r . Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, Decern 1 ; 5*, [1783].* 

Dear Sir, — Just at this moment have I received a 
letter from you w ch was designed to be forwarded to 
Boston, but was stopped here by some one knowing me 
to be in town. I am much obliged to you for writing, & 
fancies you would have been still more luxuriant in some 
parts of the description of my situation had you known 
how long I had sat under the sign of Virgo. It is a most 
sweet, soft, placid air I breath when her ladyship reigns. 
I dont, however, intend to stop at Aries or Taurus. 
Gemini will please me better. If you think there is the 
lest wit in this, do give praise to the right author, M r 
Sewall,t to whom I shewed that sentence in your letter, 
tho' I stopped short before I came to Tubal Cain. Had 
you the Masonic light about you, you would observe 
something very curious here. At profanum vulgus, &c. I 
did as you would wish about a certain matter, without 
lying in bed or lying any other way, as you advised, — 
certainly the line of truth might have somewhat crooked, 
had I done as you said. 

* Mr. Eliot no doubt wrote "Boston" by mistake. The letter was evidently written 
while he was in Portsmouth, on a visit to Miss Treadwell. — Eds. 

t Jonathan Mitchell Sewall, who is often referred to in this correspondence, was a de- 
scendant of Chief Justice Samuel Sewall. He was born in Salem, Mass., in 1748, and 
died in Portsmouth, N. H., March 29, 1808. He was a man of brilliant parts, — lawyer, 
preacher, poet, and orator, — but of unsettled habits in his later years. — Eds. 


We talked together about a Magazine. Never was any 
thing more wretched than this first number of M r Bil- 
lings' undertaking. There is now a talk of beginning 
de novo under inspection & patronage of a society of gen- 
tlemen, one of whom your humble servant is, as they 
say, tho' I am much against it, for reasons, &c, & have 
not yet given my consent. It may be made something 
off, as such men as M r Howard, Parker, Clarke, Freeman, 
are there from the clergy ; other gentlemen of equal abil- 
ities from the other professions. I will write more of this 
when I get to Boston. I must now converse a little with 

my Angel ina. 

Yrs., J. Eliot. 

Love to Ruthy. 


Dear Sir, — I heard very accidentally that Col. Waters 
sets out for Dover this morning, and tho' I have not time 
to answer your kind letter which came to hand this week, 
yet I will not miss y e opportunity of telling you that I re- 
ceived it, & that I rejoice in your welfare & happyness. 
My health & circumstances are in statu quo, & your 
Boston friends are all pretty much the same. 

D r Chauncy says he can tell but little about y e matters 
you wished to know from him. He doth not remember 
sufficiently to be able to make remarks. Nor would he 

say anything in favor of S r W m P 1. He was a man of 

unbounded avarice, & received from his countrymen more 
instances of regard & greater rewards than he deserved. 
But of this & other circumstances I mean to be more 

For the present, adieu. 

Yrs., John Eliot. 

Indorsed by Mr. Belknap, " 1784." 

1784.] JOHN ELIOT. 269 


Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, Feb? 6, 1784. 

Dear Sir, — I will endeavour to answer the particulars 
of your letter. Whenever you write about my Nancy, 
you have a subject which ought to give brilliancy to an 
imagination less lively than your own. No wonder your 
strokes are so ingenious and pleasing. 

D r Cooper's death is felt by none more than the clergy 
in this town. We have lost the life of our association & 
the gout of our literary entertainment. His disorder was 
lethargic, & from his being first taken he was unable to 
converse except by momentary intervals of rational dis- 
cerning w ch he seemed desirous to catch. The only disa- 
greable circumstance on his mind was a fear of living 
as the shadow of himself. This was his expression, & 
often used when he was in health, & what he dreaded 
from an opinion of his own nervous system. Brother 
C -'s sermon was much to the purpose, & very ac- 
ceptable.* I will bring it when I journey eastward, 
which would have been this week but for my brother's 

Poor Sam. He is just gone. The dropsy hath in- 
creased for some time, but he seemed for him quite clev- 
erly last week, and insisted upon riding out in a close 
carriage. A debilitated frame hath rendered him child- 
ish & self-willed for some time. And nothing could 
stop him from going, tho' all protested against it. He 
would not be helped even into the carriage, & yet was so 
weak that he fell down, which injured him, perhaps, more 
than the ride. This was Friday, & the next day he took 

* Rev. Samuel Cooper, D. D., minister of the Brattle Street Church, died Dec. 29, 1783, 
and was buried Jan. 2, 1784. The funeral sermon was preached by Rev. John Clarke, of 
the First Church. — Eds. 


to his bed, & hath been helpless ever since. Danforth & 
Rand were called in to consult with Appleton. They all 
agree that tapping would at once bring on a dissolution, 
which without it must be likewise very near. He is 
very fl'uj hi//, tho' at times rational. M r Lathrop visits him, 
& he seems fond of conversing upon religious subjects, 
& extremely speculative for a dying man. I could not 
prevent him from pulling the Athanasian Creed to pieces, 
the doctrine of predestination, &c. Df Priestly was his 
idol, & he seems to have his sentiments impressed so 
deeply that I imagine what he says are rather traces of 
what he hath read than any present thoughts, because he 
is unable to connect for two minutes, & yet will speak 
rationally on some subject for a quarter of an hour. He 
saith he always lived, & shall die, in full belief of the 
Christian religion, & the only thing he desires is to re- 
ceive the communion with his wife & children. This he 
got from Priestly. I would join with him & get M r 
Parker to administer would he set aside the notion about 
his children, but this I know he will not do. He saith 
you are a clever fellow, & he wants to see you. He is 
so alternately rational and wild, serious & jocose, that you 
would in spite of your other feelings laugh heartily were 
you at his bedside. He deals out Yorick's & Smollet's 
touches with surprising application, as you know is often 
the case with a person who is insane. 

I now mention so[methin]g to you which I am at 
loss how to bring in, " because it is a case of delicacy." 
You know Jemmy Sullivan. He pretends, & I believe 
hath, a high esteem of you. He tells me, with an air 
of very confidential friendship, he will push for you at 
Dr Cooper's. He desired me to make an accidental 
change with you, &c. I submit it all to your consider- 
ation, and when I see you will converse freely ; only, 
as my duty obliges me, will tell you thus much, that 
at present there are two strong parties. The Bowdoin 

1784.] JOHN ELIOT. 271 

interest have set up John Bradford,* & are determined to 
push for him. He is determined to preach again. The 
Hancock party, which I believe are y e most numerous, 
are determined to crush him. Mf S. mentioned this to 
me, however, before any party spirit was kindled, so that 
you are to consider his proposal as originating from a 
regard to you entirely ; and should you come to any 
sudden determination, wish you to write a very friendly 
letter to him. 

Your letter from Sam seems to be of late date. M r . s H., 
they tell me, is between 60 & 70 years old, & more ugly 
than antique. This may give you a clue to my present 
sentiments, whatever they have been. 

Will do every thing in my power to serve M r Aitkin, 

& am 

Yrs., John Eliot. 


Rev d M r Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, April 8 th , [1784]. 

Dear Sir, — Last evening I received your letter, 
March 20% and will deliver the enclosed to the persons 

I cannot tell how my sister's circumstances may be 
a month hence. We are trying to get a house with a 
shop, which we find hard to be obtained. Her connec- 
tions, so many of whom are in large business, will make 
it very convenient for her to retail goods, & her obliging 
manners, with a more than common understanding in 
matters of accompt, will procure her custom. Her chil- 
dren, three out of the five, are provided for already under 
very advantageous & pleasant circumstances.! 

* Rev. John Bradford was born in Boston in August, 1756, and graduated at Harvard 
College in 1774. In May, 1785, he was ordained over the Second Church in Roxbury. He 
died Jan. 27, 1825. (See Proceedings of Mass. Hist. Soc, vol i. p. 382.) —Ens. 

t The reference is to the writer's sister-in-law, the widow of his brother Samuel, who 
died in March. — TCns. 


I would have you bring Sally by all means ; whatever 
may be her (my sister's) situation, you may depend upon 
meeting with friends who will be glad to entertain her. 

I received the books, but did not see M r Fisher. 

Now let me beg a favour of you ; rather make a de- 
mand. You promised to return the observations w ch you 
made upon the Abbe Reynal's question. This was the 
condition of its going out of my hands. Now I am 
caterer for the Magazine this month, & I want it to 
appear splendid with original pieces. I must have this 
to set it off; don't refuse me. You may be concealed as 
the author, if you please. Send it down to Portsmouth 
to M r Treadwell, that Greenleaf may receive it next 
Tuesday morning. I shall be at Portsmouth the week 
after, & shall then certainly expect to receive it, if you 
are unable to send it so early as I have mentioned. I 
can then send it to one of my coadjutors, tho' I had 
rather receive it much before I set out. Any thing else 
you have by you will be acceptable. 

We had our house broke open last week, lost a number 
of things; among the rest, a watch rendered valuable 
more by its circumstantial than intrinsic value, tho' that 
was considerable. It was a legacy of my brother Sam's 
to his little boy. 

Eegards to your family, & am 

Yrs., &c, 

John Eliot. 


Boston, May 13, 1784. 

Dear Sir, — Among the most disagreeable occurrences 

of human affairs I have all ways consider' d that there are 

but few greater than being under the necessity of calling 

* Colonel Josiah Waters, Jr., was an intimate friend of Mr. Belknap. In the Boston 
Directory for 178!) he is put down as a distiller in Essex Street, with a house in New- 
bury Street. — Ens. 

1784.] JOSIAH WATERS, 273 

on particular friends for payment of old debts. Duty & 
inclination severely clash, though the latter must give 
place to the former. This, my dear Sir, is presisely my 
situation, and I assure myself that your friendship will 
find an appology for me much better than my pen can 
frame one. You may remember I some time since wrote 
you that the heirs of my late Father Whitwell had ear- 
nestly pressed me for a settlement of the estate, inso- 
much that I have made as far as I could a division of 
the personal securitys, retaining that of yours in my own 
hands to be disposed of in an after division, which must be 
made, not in securitys, but cash, and that without delay. 
The estate also of my late Brother Whitwell, to which 
you stand indebted must be settled, & in order thereto a 
collection of debts is indispensibly necessary. However 
painfull the task is to me, I am under the necessity of 
performing it, and I had rather write than speak person- 
ally what I am under the necessity of doing, which is no 
less than this : that you must immediately, & without 
the least delay, discharge the two debts above referred to, 
or I shall be under the necessity of puting them into the 
hands of another to collect. I expect to be at Dover the 
begining of June, when I hope you will be ready, and so 
prevent my taking any step inconsistent with my wishes. 
However harsh this address may appear from one who so 
tenderly regards you, yet when you consider me in my 
official capacity you cannot blame me, and I hope our 
friendship will not be interrupted hereby, for you may 
rest assured that your happiness & that of yours is most 
ardently wished for, and shall be as ardently sought in my 
private capacity. I should have written you before & 
given you more notice, but I could not be willing to trust 
a letter of this kind to any person but one in whom I 
placed the utmost confidence. 

I am, d r Sir, your friend, &c, 

Josi. Waters, Jun?. 




Rev'} M r Belknap, Dover. The care of M r Treadwell. 

Boston, August 26, '84. 

Dear Sir, — I am glad you found means of rendering 
the ther* of any service to you, and wish from this day 
you would keep a regular account of the heat & cold, 
making a certain degree the freezing point, which is 32 
in Farenheit's scale ; hence we shall be able to compare 
together. I think that it is marked in yours, but as your 
scale ascends I forget exactly. 

You ask what hath become of Paddy ? * Poor fellow, 
I am afraid he is in trouble. His wife & family are now 
come, & put themselves upon him, understanding, as I 
learn, that he was to be settled at D T . Cooper's. He was 
buoyed up with such an idea, and flattered himself that 
there were no difficulties at all in the way. It was only 
to hear him, & they would be too much captivated to let 
him go. In short, he is the most conceited & most im- 
prudent man I ever met with, & yet hath many good 
qualities both of head and heart. 

You will find his observations upon Blair's Lectures 
confirmed by the Critical Reviewers, who have raked 
together several pages of his bad English, & they have 
done it with as much ill nature as judgment. His great- 
est crime, I believe, is owing to his being a man the 
other side the Tweed. I hate national prejudice, and so 
I do all kinds of prejudices, and therefore find great fault 
with our friend Hazard's observations, which are by no 
means liberal, & which savour too much of the Calvinistic 
spirit. In much the same style he wrote to me. I doubt 

* Rev. William Hazlitt, father of the essayist, was a Unitarian clergyman, who came 
to America after the close of the Revolution, but subsequently returned to England. In 
December, 1785, he preached a Thanksgiving Sermon at Hallowell, Maine, which was 
printed. A copy of it is in the list of books and pamphlets given by Rev. Dr. Freeman 
at the second meeting of the Historical Society. — Eds. 

1784.] JOHN ELIOT. 275 

not Hazlit's being a Socinian. But a Socinian hath as 
much right to complain of a Calvinist's principles, & so 
what will become of brotherly love ? He may deserve 
censure for spreading his principles, & here I think 
Hazard should have rested the matter, without saying 
he chose to remain unacquainted with a man meerly on 
account of his speculative opinions. 

I received a letter from Hazard to-day. He tells me 
that your books will be here in a day or two. I shall 
send you word. No; he will write you. Why cannot 
you make it convenient to be here the second or third 
Sunday in Sep r ? It would suit me admirably well, as 
these are the Sabbaths I shall be with you, — in your 
parts, I mean. You will at least know from this when 
you may bibulate to my salubrity, &c. It will then give 
me much pleasure to see you at Portsmouth. 

Cutler had acquainted me with your tour to the White 
Mountains.* I am sorry you could not reach the summit. 
Brother Cutler is romantic in his description, as well as 
you in the short touch you gave me in your letter. Can 
you yet discover the cause of their whiteness ? How 
many times have we any account of persons reaching the 
summit? Are they entirely within the bounds of New 
Hampshire ? What you told me was new, that Connect- 
icut River sprung from these mountains. The other two 
I had supposed. Had it been the fall, & I less engaged 
than I shall be this fall, I would have bore you company. 
Perhaps in some future time I may make it convenient. 
Cutler tells me he means to go again. I was at Ports- 
mouth when you was absent, & pitied you one very hot 

D? Chauncy's Restitution book is not yet come over, 

* Mr. Belknap made a tour to the White Mountains in the summer of 1784, in company 
with Rev. Manasseh Cutler and several other persons. Of this tour he kept a diary, which 
is printed in the first part of the Belknap Papers (5 Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. ii. pp. 386-401) ; 
and also sent an account of it in a letter to Eben Hazard (see 5 Mass. Hist. Col., vol. iii. 
pp. 170-189).— Eds. 


except one doz. which he hath given away to particular 
friends, among whom is not your humble servant, or I 
would send it to you. Dilly served him a trick, it is 
said, — sold oft the impression w ch was to have been sent 
here, and is now striking off another. I cannot vouch for 
t he truth of more than one half which I hear. The book 
,:pon Benevolence is published in Boston. If you want 
one of them, I will procure it. Well thought off. Will 
you let me have the two volumes of the Rambler, or the 
last volume, which is all I shall want, only let it be the 
whole one ? If you can get it to Portsmouth when I am 
there it will do. Have you got my books from Noah 
Parker yet? D r Mather knows nothing of any Indian 
vocabulary. M T . S fc John tried everywhere for such a 
thing, & for Eliot's translation of the Bible, when he 
was in town. He is Consul of France for the State of 
New York, a man of great literary taste.* 
We are all well ; desire to be remembered. 
I am yrs. affectionately, 

John Eliot. 


The Rev* M r . Jeremy Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, Decern' 30, 1784. 

Dear Sir, — I received your kind letter with those 
pleasing sensations which ever accompany your epistles, 
& shall improve this opportunity to convince you that 
nothing shall on my part interrupt a correspondence so 
much valued. I never was a very lovesick single man, 
nor shall I be a very uxorious married man. To be sure 
my present situation shall not interfere with the duties in- 
cumbent upon me towards my friends. I always thought 

* Hector St. John de Crcvecoeur, for a short time Consul at New York, was born in 
Caen in Normandy in 1731, and spent many years in this country. Subsequently he re- 
turned to France, where he died in 1813. (See Proceedings of Mass. Hist. Soc, vol. xiii. 
pp. 236-240. —Eds. 

1784.] JOHN ELIOT. 277 

it a mistaken policy with the Jewes to let the honey 
moon last a year. 

I am glad you are pleased with the Lives of the Poets. 
It is happy for them who are so poor that they cannot 
purchase an epitaph that the first genius of the age 
should employ his pen in their service, & deal out pan- 
egyric gratis, or censoriousness, should that be most 
agreable to the present humour of his fancy. I never 
read but few of them, & should therefore be glad to re- 
ceive them when you have an opportunity of writing or 

I am sorry you have any reason to be discouraged 
about your History. They who do not think it a most 
valuable work are no judges, & such as do not purchase 
it, more especially if they are inhabitants of New Hamp- 
shire, are too pitiful to be noticed in any future records. 
You do wrong to reckon upon the condition of British 
genius. There is something peculiar in that island which 
takes nowhere else. In other places men are reduced to 
poverty from the want of that which would make them 
independant. But there they become poor & abject from 
superfluity. A man having a large pension on account 
of peculiar excellencies, or getting large sums by his 
works, is sure to turn rake, gamester, or knight errant 
in benevolence, by which I mean that romantic kind of 
generosity which stimulates them to give away more 
than is craved for. Not content with removing objects 
of wretchedness from the dunghill, or affording them the 
comforts of life, but they must become wretched them- 
selves for the sake of seeing them in kings' palaces. 
Goldsmith had 1,800 £ sterg. one year, which was thus 
foolishly spent. On the same account Churchill, Sterne, 
& others, died poor. A man of ceconomy in that island, 
as Mitchel Sewall thinks of the prudent man, is not 
thought to have a genius; he wants spirit, &c. Now I 
am certain that you will make a better improvement of 


your fortune should you make one by your writings. 
Don't be discouraged, my friend. 

You ask about Brother Cephas.* He is dismissed from 
Maiden, & is considered as one of us. The Church of 
Maiden wrote an answer to the letter sent by the Church 
in Brattle St., wherein they expressed surprise at their 
request, & acquainted them that altho' they dismissed 
th]eir minister, it was not on account of their, but his, 
desire. Yet they added at the bottom, they expected a 
pecuniary satisfaction. Indeed, Cephas had told them 
with assurance that they should receive such a substitute 
for him. They esteem this, I suppose, like changing the 
gold of Ophir for the value of it in silver according to 
the currency. One thing excites speculation, — the reason 
given to justify the calling a minister from his people was 
that they starved him. So spake the society in Brattle 
Street. M r T. hath put an advertisem* in the papers de- 
claring this charge to be false & groundless.! Yet, the 
day before, he declared in the pulpit to the church over 
which he stands at this time, that he never would have 
left his people but for the woe denounced ag. him who tak- 
eth no care of his own house, &c. Our Dock Square rela- 
tion t discovers the same zeal ag. T. as he did ag. Clarke 
some while ago. He declares he will carry the newspa- 

* Rev. Peter Thacher. —Ens. 

t In the Independent Chronicle for Dec. 30, 1784, is the following advertisement: — 
" Many reports having been circulated greatly to the disadvantage of the North Parish in 
Maiden, with respect to the manner in which they have supported me, at their desire and 
from a regard to justice I do hereby certify that at my first settlement among them they 
voted me a salary, which with the other advantages they gave me was fully satisfactory to 
me; that in the time of the paper currency and at every other time, when I requested any 
addition to my salary or consideration for the fall of money, they cheerfully voted a com- 
pliance with m}' request: and though I have suffered great inconvenience by my salary's 
not being punctually paid me, yet (for aught I know) the people here have been as punc- 
tual in their payments as other parishes in the country generally are: and as to the 
reports of my family's being reduced to extremities of want and suffering, 1 do hereby 
declare them to he false and groundless, and highly injurious to the people of said par- 
ish, as I am well persuaded they would not suffer any person (much less their minis- 
ter) to be reduced to such extremities. Peter Thacher. Maiden, Dec. 14. A true 
copy." — Eds. 

| Mr. Belknap's brother-in-law, Samuel Eliot. — Eds. 

1785.] JOSIAH WATERS. 279 

per into the church meeting, & prevent the West Society 
from sending to the ordination or instaulation. 

The Magazine will continue, but the present editors 
will drop it. It is now in the hands of a good printer. 
Give me your opinion of the Gazetteer. 

In answer to your question about Nancy. Non pas. 
I may be a second Parson Prince ; you remember your 
Old South minister ; he was near-sighted. 

Should you want some books elegantly bound for your 
Social Library, I have some I would part with at the 
sterling cost & charges, — philosophical & miscellaneous. 

Love to Ruthy, & am 

Your affectionate friend, 

J. Eliot. 

Doctor Green, Dover. 

Boston, January 3 d , 1785. 

Sir, — From the conversation I had with you when 
last I had the pleasure of seeing in Boston, I fully ex- 
pected to have heard from you before this time, and of 
being informed that the money was collected to enable 
our mutual friend, M r B., to discharge the demands I have 
upon him. In this, however, I am unhapily disappointed, 
and am now reduced to the disagreeable necessity of in- 
forming you that the steps I have endeavor' d to avoid I 
shall be under the unwished for necessity of adopting 
unless immediate attention on your part happily rids me 
thereof. The money I must have without further delay, 
and as I would not wish to be thought wanting either in 
friendship or politeness I take the liberty of addressing 
you. Every service it may be in my power of [to ?] ren- 
der to you personally, or to the town of Dover at large, I 
shall ever be happy in performing, & my ardent wish is 


to be relieved from the disagreeable necessity of using 
coersive measures. Be so obliging as to favor me with a 
line on the subject {mediately, and thus you will oblige 

Y r friend & h. a., 

Josiah Waters. 

Doc r Green. 



Col 1 Josiah Waters, Boston. 

S R , — Your very friendly and polite letter of the 3 rd 
came to hand but the day before yesterday. As you 
request an immediate answer and a conveyance offers, 
must attempt it without the advice of my brethren in 
office (which would have been my choice could I have 
had an opportunity). Am very sorry, S r , to inform you 
that we have done but very little towards enabling our 
Rev d Pastor to answer your demands ; at the same time, 
declare to you that I have not been wanting in my en- 
deavour for y e purpose, and perhaps my disappointment 
is as great as yours that we have not had it in our power 
to take up our friend's note before now. I really ex- 
pected that everything that we could do would have been 
done months ago, but some of us have depended too 
much on fair promises for our interest, and now we see 
what I think we ought to have known months ago, viz. 
that nothing will be done without severities. Before I 
rec d your favour, we had determined to issue extents 
next week, it being impracticable this week by reason of 
the Court's sitting. If you can wait the issue, I think you 
will be as near the object as you can be in any other 

* Ezra Green, M. D., was born in Maiden, Mass., June 17, 1746, graduated at Harvard 
College in 1705, and died in Dover, N. H., July 25, 1847, being at that time the oldest 
living graduate of the College. Early in life he served in the army, and as a surgeon on 
board of the Ranger, under John Paul Jones. Subsequently he became a merchant, and 
one of the most prominent citizens in Dover. (See Allen's Biographical Dictionary.) 
— Eds. 

1785.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 281 

way, and I will venture to assure you that there shall not 
be any longer delay in respect to anything we can do to 
procure the money. However, S r , if on the whole you 
think it inconsistent with your interest to wait any longer, 
have one favour to ask, which is that you would not call 
us out of the county to answer; but, S r , I hope your 
patience will hold a little longer, and we will leave noth- 
ing undone which can in the least contribute towards 
procuring the money. 

I am, S r , your most obed fc , 

Ezra Green. 

Dover, Jan? 22 d , 1785. 
Col 1 . Waters. 

Josiah Waters, Esq., Newbury Street^ Boston. Hon d by M r Allen. 

Dover, Jan^ 22, 1785. 

Dear Sir, — I thank you for D r Price's book & our 
friend D's verses, both of w h are extreemly pleasing to 
me. I was in hopes to have seen in print some acc° of 
y e pirate who was executed at Cambridge. Pray is any 
acc° of him published ? 

Y r letter to D r G. is delivered, & I suppose you will 
have some answer, as I have desired him to write by this 
conveyance, viz. M r Allen. Nothing more is done (un- 
less since yesterday) than was done when I saw you last, 
& you may depend upon it the money never will be p d 
with a process at law. This I have told y e D r , & at y e 
same time told him y* y e sooner it was instituted y e better. 
My opinion, however, is (as y e term for Feb y Court in 
Rock gm C° is past) to set a day, viz. the 21 st of March, w h 
is y e usual time of settling parish & town accounts, & 
tell them y* if y e m° is not p d by that time a suit will com- 
mence at April Court in this County. This I wish you 
would write them, & at y e same time write to M r Picker- 


ing at Portsm to manage it as y r attorney. I will give 
him what information he wants in y e matter. It is now 
8 months since your first demand, & I suppose, even if it 
is put into y e law, there will be contrivances by continu- 
ances & staying of execution, &c, to keep you out of it 
6 months longer, so y fc no time ought to be lost. Lenity 
has been shewn on your part so conspicuously, that they 
cannot but own & admire it themselves ; but they need 
a stimulus. 

I wish you would urge James Foster to write to my 
father. He has not yet got his rent for y e last quarter, & 
another will be due y e 3 d Feb 7 . He really suffers for 
want of it. 

Our love to Polly & all y r family. 

Y r obliged friend & hble serv*, 

Jere. Belknap. 

P. S. Since writing y e above I have been informed of 
y e contents of y e letter inclosed herewith, w h is nothing 
more th[an a] repetition of y e promise made 3 or 4 
months past. It does not alter my opinion as above 
expressed, & I am of y e mind that if you set a later date 
than 21 of March, you will be likely to be kept out of y e 
money a year longer, as you will thereby lose y e chance 
for April Court, w h is a Term Court, y e Sup m Court follow- 
ing being in May. You have had & ivill have a specimen 
of what I have borne for years, — evasion, delay, & sub- 
terfuge covered with fair professions & promises. D r G. 
is as a man honest & punctual, but as connected with 
colleagues he must do like them. The faults of y e body 
he acts for are not to be charged to him, but to y e com- 
plexion of their public conduct. 



Docf Ezra Green, Dover. 

Boston, January 28 th , 1785. 

Sir, — Your favor of the 22 d instant I have received, 
and am extreamly sorry, as well as much disappointed, 
in not having the money collected before this. Notwith- 
standing I am under pressing necessity therefor immedi- 
ately, yet so much do I regard the honor & happiness of 
the town of Dover in general, and some of its inhabitants 
in particular, that I will venture once more to fix a day 
beyond which I cannot extend ; and it will most assur- 
edly give me great pleasure not to be under the disagree- 
able necessity of having recourse to law. This trouble 
will be prevented by payment being made by the middle, 
but not exceed the 21 st day, of March next. You will 
therefore be pleased to receive this declaration as final, 
& believe me to be, with great personal esteem, 
Your friend & most hble s% 

J. Waters. 

Docf Green. 


Boston, Feb? 24 t . h , 1785. 

Dear Sir, — Yours 26 th Jan?" I received but two even- 
ings since, & now send a return, & will ever esteem it a 
pleasure, without a Dock Square compliment, to answer 
any & every question you see fit to ask, & beg you to be 
no more bashful in doing it, & to suppose an apology 

We have got Cephas fixed. "How does it suit Mad- 
am?" say you. She admires it ; so many new caps, new 
gowns, stockings, shoes, petticoats, garters, shifts, tuckers, 
&c, &c, &c, her ladyship not only never wore, but never 


saw before. But "How does she suit them V* This is 
the question. They complain a little of her having watry 
eyes, but then M r T. is so excellent!!! I'll tell you 
what his brother Tom says. " He thinks Peter ought 
to have left some legacy to his people of Maiden, & he 
can find nothing w ch would answer so well as his wife." 
Howard was not of the conclave.* The reason given 
by his people, — they had lost one minister after the 
same manner, & simpathised with the poor people at Mai- 
den. The logic & elocution of somebody were exerted to 
advantage, if success crowns the deed. The performances 
were no ways extraordinary. It is a doubt with me, 
whether the description in the newspaper was serious or 
burlesque. Lathrop's charge was the best, however, of 
any one performance of the day. But Clarke in y e face 
of the Council was guilty of y e most indelicate conduct 
towards his brother Eckley t that could be supposed. He 
undermined him about giving the right hand of fellow- 
ship. M r Eckley was desired to do it by the Association, 
& all at once it came out that M r Clarke was to do it at 
the desire of the congregation of B. Street. I, among 
others, protested against such conduct, tho' Eckley is by 
no means a favorite with me. 

What you mention about the Portsmouth Social Library 
is pleasing, tho' am not anxious about their taking off 
any of my books. I wish your opinion about one thing. 
Before I was married, I wrote to Buck., & among other 
thing[s] offered to give him Johnson's Lives of the Poets, 
or Moor's Travells. He never answered the letter, or 
mentioned any thing about it to me. The night I was 
married, before the wedding, I offered him a Jo, sup- 
posing that to be the value of the books, this being the 
price of 4 octavo vols, well bound in Boston. He told 
me he should take nothing, only hinted about my preach- 

* Rev. Simoon Howard, D.D., minister of the West Church, Boston. — Eds. 
t liev. Joseph Eckley, D.D., minister of the Old South Church, Boston. — Eds. 

1785.] JOHN ELIOT. 285 

ing. Now, what can I do ? Will you undertake to ob- 
tain, in the most delicate manner, his mind upon the 
matter ? & let me know it by the next opportunity. If 
you find them disposed to purchase Johnson's Lives for 
the Portsmouth Library, & will allow you 10/. per vol., I 
will take in lieu of the money 4 of your History volumes 
here in Boston. Some time ago I settled with M r Eliot 
about my six books, but supposed the charge would have 
been more. Did you not say that the price would be 
more? And are they not sold at 9/6 or 10/? Go on, & 
be not weary in well doing. It will be better for authors 
in future. I wish you had sent your 1 st vol. to England. 
You would have gained something. The way is open 
for the next. 

You may be certain I will comply with your request 
about the newspaper, & hope it will meet with some suc- 
cess ; must consult Sam about a particular passage. 

You must have mistaken me about the Gazetteer. I 
thought I told you it made part of the Magazine. When 
I can send a packett, will send you the Magazines, &c. 
Aye, & a picture of the Marquis de la Fayette, done by 
those capital fellows who did Gen 1 Washington & lady. 
What transcendent genii have we on this continent ! 

D r Chauncy's ideas of Justification pervade his whole 
system. I thought the 3 d ch. of N his MSS. was a par- 
ticular essay on that subject, & unconnected with any 
thing which hath been lost. 

We have not set up Paddy for a lecturer, but he hath 
set himself up. He plagued Brother Lathrop till he ob- 
tained consent for his meetinghouse. His lectures are 
poorly attended. No wonder ; he spins out the subject, 
proposes to have 30 lectures. They are good solid dis- 
courses, but not adequate to the expectations of them 
who wish to serve him. I wish he was in Ireland. 

You ask if Betsy is to be married to Col. Pope ? She 
is very ill of a violent nervous fever. We thought her 


near her end last Sabbath. Her fever is not yet at a 
crisis, & I feel very unhappy at this present moment. If 
she dies, very near half the happiness I enjoy goes with 
her. I never yet knew one person who came so near the 
Gospel standard of excellence. Is too rich a blessing to 
lose ; but is not this assenting to the propriety of her 
being taken away ? 

As to news, the war of the Netherlands hath drawn 
the attention of Europe, it seems. The best view of the 
state of things there I have learnt from M r Ingram, & 
will send his letter to you, depending upon soon receiv- 
ing it again. The town hath been full of anecdotes this 
winter. One while the whole conversation was about 
Brother Thatcher. Next came the Sans Souci Assembly, 
a subject for farces, newspapers, broken heads & legs, 
&c. It was certainly inconsonant to those principles 
which preserve the well-being of a republican govern- 
ment, & to that good mode of education which D T . Price 
recommends, to have an assembly instituted to encourage 
the rising generation to throw off all restraint, & to 
learnt [learn ?] the science of cards. And this in order 
to know life & manners, & be fit companions for the 
French, with whom the nation is in a political alliance. 
French etiquette, French manners & customs, cannot be 
altogether fashionable, if we abide by our constitutions 
or laws. Nor ought we to imitate any nation in Europe. 
We are a people per se. We ought to be original, there- 
fore, in our manners, & independent of other nations, of 
their follies & vices, as of any thing else. 

The next thing which became a subject of conversa- 
tion, & is now upon the carpet, is the bridge. You cannot 
speak to a man about any subject but what he brings in 
some about Charlestown bridge. Great interest is made 
to have it from Barton's to Leachmere's Point. Interests 
may so interfere as to prevent any bridge at all ; but if 
it is built, I y nk it must be between the ferries. Then for 

1785.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 287 

the glory of the North End. We shall wipe away the 
Ichabod which hath been stamped upon us these many 

Anecdotes more of the town. — Every thing is strange. 
D r Chauncy hath an organ fixed up in his meetinghouse ; 
hath consented Clarke shall have a gown. What will 
there be next ? The D? says he never will shew any 
more zeal, or scold, except at vice & immorality. 

The people of the Chapel have agreed to alter the 
Liturgy. Who do you think are appointed a committee 
to judge what is, & what [is not?] agreable to Scrip- 
ture ? Why, Sam Brick, Shrimpton Hutchinson, old Has- 
kins, the wine cooper, &c, &c, who have power to put 
out & put in. 

So many town anecdotes will supply the place of 
family ones.. Nothing very remarkable here. M r Squire's 
regards to Ruthy. She is here by me while I am writing. 
Nancy joins. I wish to see you, but know not when I 
shall be your way. 

With all kind of respect & affection, I am 

Yours, John Eliot. 


Josiah Waters, Esq., Newbury Street, Boston. By favor of M r JRemich. 
The bearer will tarry in town but one night. 

Dover, Feb. 28, 1785. 

Dear Sir, — Your ultimatum (to speak in the princely 
style) was delivered as soon as I rec d it, before which & 
after my letter to you ^ M r Allen, our Wardens had so 
far wak'd up as to get their extents made out against two 
of the deficient collectors & put them into the hands of 
the Sheriff; the other collector must be sued (a 2 d time, 
for he was sued a year ago & y e action dropped on his 


giving a note ; this is their way of doing business ! *). 
All this, however, will not produce the money by the 
time set, & they are as well convinced of this as myself & 
expect a writ ; all the favor they ask is that the process 
may not be in another county. We are now within three 
weeks of the time, & I intend before the expiration of it 
to apply to M r Pickering in your name for a writ. I 
here inclose you an exact copy of their note to me, w h I 
must endorse over to you when I put it into the law- 
yer's hands. You will then be able to form some secu- 
rity which will be proper to give to me (in case of 

I shall give you an acc° of every step taken in this 
matter ; you need not expect a sudden issue of it. If the 
action is entered, they will try to get it continued ; if they 
are cast, they will appeal; & when execution is issued, 
they will get it stayed. I expect a twelvemonths' jobb 
of it yet. Would you believe it, the salary due to my 
predecessor, who died in 1769, is not yet paid! His 
heirs sued for it a year ago, & all these manoeuvres have 
been practised, so y fc altho' y e execution has been out 
ever since last May, it is yet unsatisfied ! 

One favor I must beg of you. My father suffers for 
want of his rent ; one quarter was due in Nov r , another 
in Feb y , & Jemmy Foster, who has the care of receiving 
it, has not sent y e least word about it tho' I have written 
to him 2 or 3 times, & my father writes by this opp°. I 
beg you would be so kind as to make some enquiry into 
the matter, & let me know whether the fault be in the 
tenant or the agent. If it be in the former, my father 
must give her warning, for it is impossible that he can live 
without receiving his due regularly. 

I mentioned someth g of this to you in my last. I beg 
you would attend to it as much as decency will permit, & 

* They have done just so by the man whom they sued at October Court. — Note by Mr. 

1785.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 289 

let me know your mind. We are all well, & join in love 
& respects to you & Polly. 

I am, d r Sir, y r affectionate friend, 

Jere. Belknap. 

This will be delivered by a neighbour of mine, & if you 
leave an answer at S. Eliot's he will call for it. Pray do 
not omit writing. 

If you think to write to Pickering, let it pass open thro' 
my hands. He is as much a friend to me as Tom Dawes 
is to you, & of longer standing. 


Dover, Sept r . 2, 1782. 
For value rec d , we the subscribers, Wardens for the First Parish in 
Dover, for ourselves & successors in s d office, do promise to pay the Rev d 
Jeremy Belknap, or his order, the sum of one hundred & twelve 
pounds, seven shillings k ten pence, one farthing, Lawful Money, 
on demand, with interest till paid. 

Sam 1, Kielle. 
John Ham 
James Libbt 


(Endorsed) May 2, 1784. Rec d the interest to this day, & thirty-four 
pounds & seven pence, one farthing, of the principal. 

N. B. This endorsement was a discount to cancel a debt which I 
owed to a man here. 


Josiah Waters, Esq., Newbury Street, Boston. To tf care of Col. Clap, 

Portsm . 

Dover, March 15, 1785. 

Dear Sir, — I had your letter by M r Remich, & thank 
you for y e pamphlet, w h I think gives a much better acc° 
of poor Alex r White # than y e other you sent me before. 

* Alexander Wight was executed for piracy and murder at Cambridge, Nov. 18, 1784. 
(See Boston Gazette for Nov. 22, 1784.) — Eds. 



I told you in my last y* y e jobb we have in hand would 
last a twelvemonth. You may count for certain 6 months 
of that space as elapsed, for our G. Court at their last 
session have altered y e time for hold g Courts, so y 1 we are 
cut off from April term, & there is no Inferior Court in 
this or Kock gm County till June, k y e next Supreme Court 
afterward is in Sejif. However, I think it will be best to 
put y e matter in suit as early as possible, & till that is 
done I do not expect a farthing of y e money will be paid. 
Shall you not be here in the spring ? 

If you have anything new & clever in the literary way, 
or any town or family anecdotes, I should be glad to par- 
take y e pleasure with you. I have lately experienced a 
remarkable preservation from sudden death, being kicked 
by an horse in y e face & thrown senseless on y e ground. 
My wounds, however, are not deep. I desire to praise 
my Divine Keeper for his great goodness. 

With due respects to Polly, I am y r affectionate frd., 

Jere. Belknap. 


The Rev d M r Jeremy Belknap, at Dover. 

Boston, 28 th March, 1785. 

Dear Sir, — The subscribers for the bridge 

over Charles River meet next week, and as I am one 
shall meet with them, and I shall not forget your request 
of having one built over Maiden side. Various have been 
the conjectures respecting the expences w c . h will attend a 
work of so much magnitude. Some have supposed a 

* There are frequent references to Joseph Russell in Mr. Belknap's correspondence with 
Ebenezer Hazard, which show that he was actively engaged in business. In the Boston 
Directory for 1789 he is described as an auctioneer in Federal Street. 

The omitted portions of this letter, which fill more than half of it, relate wholly to per- 
sonal and family matters of a confidential character, but highly creditable to both Mr. j 
Russell and Mr. Belknap. — Ens. 

1785.] JOSEPH RUSSELL. 291 

bridge built only of wood will cost from twenty-five 
to thirty thousand pounds Lawful Money, while others 
say it will cost much more ; and yet there is six gentle- 
men in this town who will enter into a contract with the 
subscribers to build a stone bridge for thirty-five thou- 
sand pounds, and will give bonds with sufficient security 
for the faithful performance. What plan will be adopted 
by the subscribers time must determine, or whether any 
bridge will be built at all, as the expence may far exceed 
the expectations of many of the subscribers, who imagined 
at the time of subscribing it might be completed for 
fifteen thousand. I will write you the determination of 
the meeting 

We removed into our meetinghouse* on the 13 th of the 
present month. The solemnities of the day was opened 
with an anthem composed by Billings, " I was glad when 
they said unto me, we will go into the house of y e Lord." 
This was performed by the best masters in town, and, ac- 
companied with the organ which we have introduced into 
y e meeting, is a most delightful piece of musick, and is a 
very great help to singing. It is pleasing to almost every 
one of the society, excepting a few who retain their an- 
cient prejudices, and who had rather hear this pleasing 
part of devotion performed by a small number of scream- 
ing voices, without order or decency, than have any 
tuned instrument as a help, however harmonious and 
agreable. M? Clark with his usual gravity addressed 
the Deity by prayer ; and D r Chauncy then gave an 
excellent sermon suitable to the occasion, which was 
by unanimous vote printed, a copy of which is here in- 
closed. The house was remarkably crouded both parts 
of the day, and is repaired in a very neat and beautiful 
manner, and I think is equal to any in town, the Old 
South excepted. Me thinks I hear you say, Cousin Jo 
has a nack at spinning, and therein I think your remark 

* The meeting-house belonging to the First Church. — Eds. 


is just ; but I don't know, Sir, that everybody is obliged 
to write with as much accuracy as yourself; and if every 
one was restricted from writing a letter who could not 
do it concisely as well as grammatically, you never 
would be troubled again by, dear Sir, your very affec- 
tionate kinsman, 

Jos. Russell. 

P. S. Our best love to your good lady and family, and 
to Aunt Russell and to Lydia, if in the land of the living. 


Rev* M: Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, April 12, 1785. 

Dear Sir, — I am much obliged to you for your last 
letters, and am extremely pleased with your recovery 
from the wounds you received, & trust that I join my 
gratitude to Heaven with yours that the affair was no 
worse after such imminent hazard. I shall have time just 
to touch upon the things mentioned in your letters. I 
understood M r E. that Folsom would not go out of town 
this week, & he has now sent me word that he is going 
to-day. And I am now interrupted as often as I can put 
pen to paper. 

By [the way ?] Parker & F. are opposite in more re- 
spects than one. You see how Parker is trimmed by 
John Gardner, who is F's friend, & signs himself No 
Episcopalian, Old Whackum, &c* 

You ask about the orations.t They are printed by a 
young man who cannot afford to give authors any, more 

* The reference here is to a controversy about Episcopalianism and the appointment of 
a Bishop, carried on in the Exchange Advertiser in the early part of 1785. It is perhaps 
needless to say that Parker was the Rev. Samuel Parker, Rector of Trinity Church, and 
that P. was Rev. James Freeman, of King's Chapel. — Eds. 

t Peter Edes published, in 1785, "in a neat pocket volume," price one dollar, "The 
thirteen Orations delivered at the Request of the Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, to 

1785.] JOHN ELIOT. 293 

especially as he takes their work from printed copies. 
Tom Dawes has only one, & that he gave a dollar for, 
which prevented me from speaking on what you sug- 
gested. The price of the volume is indeed more than it 
is worth. 

We think here Jno. Langdon will be Governor of N. 
Hampshire, & Bowdoin of Massachusetts. I think you 
will not excel Mr. B. if you extract the sense of all your 
candidates & put it into any one head. Except we pre- 
fer T. Cushing, & then you are our superiours, chuse 
whom you will, not excluding Otis Baker, your sagacious 
neighbour & pious politician. The election of New H. 
will excell us in one respect. They will have an admira- 
ble fine sermon on Election Day. 

Betsy is much better. She has been out, — too soon, 
however, & in my opinion taken cold. She will be mar- 
ried, I suppose, in less than many weeks, to Col. Pope 
of Dartmouth, a lawyer, a worthy, honest man, a man 
of property, of a good heart rather than a great under- 

I wish as soon as you receive this you would send 
Johnson's Lives to Buck, acquainting him with my desire 
of their being returned to him as the owner of them. 
This need be all. I rather wish none of the circum- 
stances heretofore mentioned to be repeated. Am very 
glad you have so good a privy council. Only don't take 
advice there about writing Histories. I have no doubt 
but they will sell in time. I knew a printer in this town 
who published Fordice's Addresses, & sold for a year 
or two not enough to pay him for the paper, who the 
other day told me that it had been a very pretty affair to 

commemorate the evening of the fifth of March, 1770; when a number of citizens were 
killed by a party of British troops quartered among them in time of peace. To which is 
added an Oration delivered at the Chapel in Boston, April 8, 1776, on the re-interment 
of the remains of the late Most Worshipful Grand Master, Joseph Warren, Esq., Major- 
General of the Massachusetts forces, who was slain in the battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17, 
1775. By Perez Morton, Esq. And an elegant Poem, by James Allen, Esq." — Eds. 


him. As men judge of books more by the size than con- 
tents, your book, 10/ in boards, was thought to be very 
high, and people, supposing they could purchase cheaper 
by & bye, neglected for the present. I never knew till 
your letter that the price was reduced. I wish, instead 
of being confined to Hastings' shop, they were scattered 
thro' the town, & other towns in the State & in other 

I never did think, & cannot now think, Hazard was 
cunning in his bargain with Aitkin. There is a great 
difference when a printer is paid so much for [the ?] thing, 
& is to depend upon an uncertain sale, & I cannot but 
think that A. charged abominably. Only consider what 
Dilly charged Chauncy, w c . h is a book certainly equal in 
labour of printing to your History. 

I am exceeding sorry to hear of the conduct of your 
people towards you. If any prospect opens, leave them, 
either to settle with some other congregation, or to go 
into other kind of business which you may do to better 
advantage than starving, as every one must who has 
nothing more solid to digest than promises. 

As to Charlestown, no person will be able to settle 
there in peace. M r Avery had a call there. It put the 
town in a flame ; 16 or 20 of the principal characters pro- 
tested ag. his settling. And his own friends were obliged 
to leave him. Brother Evans is now there. The party 
in opposition to Avery & some of the friends of that gen- 
tleman wish to settle him. About the same number who 
were attached to A. oppose Evans as stood out ag. A. 
settlement, & Evans will not be called. This has made 
many mad, & I fancy till the present storm is over noth* 
ing can be done. The popularity of Cephas would not 
be sufficient to unite them. They are in a most divided 

Do tell me whether you ever got Price & Priestly' s 
controversy, or the Book of Oaths from Portsmouth. I 



never will let another book go there if you have not. 
Nancy is well, and joins in regards to Kuthy & the 


And am yrs., &c, 

J. Eliot. 


Boston, 2 d May, 1785. 

Dear Sir, — Your most esteemed favor of the 21 st 
ultimo came duly to hand, the contents of which gave 
me both pleasure & pain. I shall not make any remarks 
on the confidential paper accompanying your letter, as 
I shall certainly pay you a visit the latter end of this 
month,* or beginning of next, if nothing extra sh d pre- 
vent me the pleasure I anticipate in the tour. I prom- 
ised you I would communicate on the subject of bridge- 
making ; agreable thereto, I would inform you that the 
proprietors at their last meeting chose by ballot twelve 
directors, which directors nominate and appoint out of 
their own number a president and vice-president, which 
president, or in his absence the vice-president, is to be the 
president of all future meetings of the corporation. The 
directors are to have the whole management in contract- 
ing for the building and compleating the bridge. They 
have already agreed with one Cap* Stone to oversee the 
workmen, to procure materials and labourers, and in fact 
to superintend the whole concern, for which service he is 
to receive eleven hundred pounds, L. M. I suppose next 
week the work will be begun, and carried on as fast as 
possible until compleated. 

I dare say you have heard of the merchants and trad- 
ers having had a meeting on the very alarming state 
of the trade, occasioned by the numerous collection of 

* I had rather see you here at Election, and I wish you to write me whether you will 
come at that time. — Note by Mr. Russell. 


British factors, agents, and others who are continually 
coming 1 among us. They passed a number of very spir- 
ited resolves, a copy of which I would have inclosed, 
but am certain you have seen them in our newspapers. 
There was a committee out of the body appointed to 
write to the merchants and traders in this and the sea- 
ports of the neighbouring States, as also to draft a peti- 
tion to Congress, and also to instruct the Representatives 
of the other States to vest a power in the hands of Con- 
gress to regulate the trade of the United States, as the 
best mode of relief. There is a committee of seven also 
appointed by the body to approbate whom they please. 
I am unfortunately one of their number. Deacon Isaac 
Smith, John Sweetser, Col. Waters, Amasa Davis, John 
Gardner, & Thomas Dawes are the others. You may well 
suppose our commission to be very disagreable. We have 
as yet approbated only one gentleman, and he was recom- 
mended by a very large number of the most respectable 
characters in the town, — Governor Hancock was one of the 
number, — and as the recommendation came from such a 
large proportion of the community, we gave him a verbal 
permission to land and store his effects. It is a matter of 
doubt whether we shall give approbation to any others. 

I was glad to hear the few articles I forwarded were 
safe to your hand ; and I have wrote by this conveyance 
a few lines to Aunt Russell, which I herewith inclose, 
agreable as you desired. I am not afraid of any bad 
consequences in your issuing the stores, or of any blame 
falling on you or me in the alterations we have made. 
I am infinitely more concerned in the trouble it must 
give you, and if I thought you would not be amply com- 
pensated, I sh d not have consented to make the alteration. 
I long to see you, as I want to express myself freely 

on a certain subject ; but mum ! ! ! ! 

! I am, my dear Sir, 

Your friend & serv*, Jos. Russell. 

1785.] MANASSEH CUTLER. 297 


Col. Josiah Waters, Boston. To the care of Supply Clap, Esq., Portsm . 

Dover, June 23, 1785. 

Dear Sir, — I have been wishing & hoping to see you 
here this spring. The suit is commenced, & as the Inferior 
Court is now sitting here I expect judgment will be given 
in your favor, & then an appeal be made to the Superior 
Court, which will sit in September. There has been but 
little said about it that I have heard as yet, but when the 
execution comes to be levied I shall expect curses in 
plenty. M r P. will take no money of me till the affair 
is finished. When that will be is very uncertain, as 
my predecessor's salary, which has been sued for by his 
grandchildren, is not yet paid ; but this you may depend 
upon, they will keep you out of it as long as possible. 
I wish you would inform your Sister Whitwell of what 
is doing, because a year ago I gave her some encourage- 
ment that her debt would soon be paid. 

With love to Polly & y e child 11 , in w h my wife & family 
most cordially join, I am, d r Sir, 

Y r obliged friend & serv*, 

Jere. Belknap. 


Ipswich, June 29 th , 1785. 

Dear Sir, — Your kind prescription in your last most 
agreeable letter has merited an earlier acknowledgement 
of my obligations, but doctor's pay, you know, is gener- 

* Rev. Manasseh Cutler (born in Killingly, Conn., May 13, 1742, graduated at Yale 
College in 1765, ordained minister of the church in Ipswich Hamlet, now Hamilton, in 1771, 
died July 28, 1823) was a friend and frequent correspondent of Mr. Belknap; and there 
are numerous letters from him among the Belknap Papers. But most of them have been 
printed in full or in part in the " Life, Journals, and Correspondence of Rev. Manasseh 
Cutler, LL.D.," and thev are not therefore included in this volume. — Eds. 


ally neglected for a long time. I congratulate you on the 
discovery of your specific. How generous not to keep it 
as a nostrum ! The contents of the culote have been in 
a good way for some time. But the culote itself remains 
in statu quo. The disorder in this part is in y e greatest 
hazard of proving incureable. Nature & you[r] spe- 
cific cure the former, but the merch* & y e tailor must ef- 
fect the latter, & they will do nothing without that rare 
ingredient, V argent. Can't you invent a succedaneum? 
If not, I fear the part already cured will be in danger 
of a relapse. 

I read Cap* Phips's Voyage towards the North Pole 
some years ago, but don't recollect very particularly his 
mode of measuring heights by the barom r . As this voy- 
age was performed some years before the invention of 
connecting therm rs with barom rs at the foot & top of y e 
m tD & making corresponding observations, by M. de Luc, I 
take it he made use of only one barom r & not any therm r . 
If so, it probably occasioned a very considerable error in 
the barometric measurement, & that the height would be 
greater by y e barometric than by the geometric measure- 
ment. M. de Luc & Sir George Shuckburge were at 
great pains to ascertain the ratio between the expansion 
of air & quicksilver by heat, & found by numerous most 
accurate experiments the ratio was, if not perfectly arith- 
metical, yet so nearly so as to occasion no sensible error 
in measuring heights. It is highly probable that the top 
of the m tn on Spitsbergen in 79° Lat., & 1,500 feet in the 
atmosphere, was intensely cold, & I think it not improb- 
able that y e foot of y e m tn on the south side might be, at 
that season, considerably warm from reflection of y e sun's 
rays from the m tn . Now if the difference of heat between 
top & bottom was 32°, it at once accounts for the differ- 
ence in the measurements ; for 32° will give 86 feet less 
than was pointed out by y e range of y e mercury in the 
barom r in an altitude of 1,500 feet. The measurement 

1785.] MANASSEH CUTLER. 299 

might, indeed, have been so circumstanced that a less 
difference in y e degree of heat would occasion as great 
an error as 85 feet. Whether there was so great a differ- 
ence in y e heat of y e atmosphere between y e top & bottom 
of y e m tn as to occasion the difference in these measure- 
ments, I am unable to determine, but I think it is possi- 
ble. Whether the principles & rules by which these 
measurements have been made in lower latitudes will 
all apply without variation in the high latitudes, I think 
may be made a question. The general principles must 
be y e same. The accuracy of barometrical measurements 
on De Luc's & Shuckburge's plan appears to me to be 
proved beyound the possibility of doubt by the numerous 
comparisons of barometrical & geometrical measurements 
on a great variety of altitude made with y e greatest -ex- 
actness by those gentlemen. Many others have since 
made similar experiments & found them uniform. But 
I do not know that any measurements in this way have 
been made in very high latitudes. 

In measuring White M ta we found the degree of heat 
at top & bottom to differ only 2° or 3°. Consequently y e 
expansion of quicksilver in the barom r could not be much 
different at the two stations. For this difference I made 
a deduction of 7 feet. Tho' we were unable to make 
corresponding obser 118 , yet I think greater dependence can 
be made on our measurement on ace* of y e little differ- 
ence in the therm 1 between top & bottom. 

I feel anxious to make another attempt for measuring 
White M tn , but find so many difficulties in the way that 
I have given up the thought of going this year. The 
thought, however, has been a little revived within a few 
days, occasioned by the Count Castiglioni, an Italian gen- 
tleman from Milan, who is on his tour through the United 
States, principally with a view of examining their natural 
productions. He is very desireous of a tour to White 
M tns , & would make us a most valuable, as well as very 


agreeable companion. He has done me the honor of 
spending a day or two with me. He is a perfect master 
of botany, & is preserving specimens of every vegetable 
he finds in blossom. His manners are easy, affable, & 
engaging, speaks English very well. Am told he is pos- 
sessed of an immense fortune. He is now gone on to 
Portsmouth. Should have given him a letter to you, if 
there had been any probability of his having time to go 
to Dover before he sets out for Penobscote, wdiich he ex- 
pected to do in a few days. After his return from the 
eastward will be the time, if at all, for the journey to 
White M tas . D r Dexter of Boston, [and] several other 
gentlemen, propose to be of the party should it be at- 

My engagements have been such I have not been at 
Beverly since I wrote you last. Saw the man who has 
your books a few days after I received your letter of 16 th 
Ap 1 . He had sold one at 8/, but had not y e money about 
him. I informed him, agreeable to your order, that he 
might take 7/ for the other two ; have heard nothing 
since. D n Story at town has sold two for 7/6 each to a 
person with whom he has dealings, but tells me has not 
received y e money. The money may, however, be de- 
pended upon in a short time. I have sold one vol. at 7/, 
for which I received the money, y e only money I have 
received ; so that there is now only two books (at Bev- 
erly) on hand, & think it probable they may be disposed 
of by this time. I sent you 12/ by Rev d M r Hemming- 
way, which hope you have received. I would now send 
you the money for y e balance of the four books if I had 
so much by me, tho I have not received it, as this is a 
favourable opp y , but have not. This is my ace* of my 

The gunsmith at town has made some trials on our 
friend Place's ore, & can get no copper of consequence 
out of it. I fear it will turn out of little value. 


Please to make M rs Cutler's & my compliments agree- 
able to your good lady & family, and am, dear Sir, 
Your most sincere & affectionate friend, 
(In the utmost hast.) M. Cutler. 

Rev d M r Belknap. 

P. S. I am at present very much out of health, but 
hope it will not prove to be more than a very long & 
tedious cold. I have been exceeding exercised with an 
inflammatory sore throat, th6 it is now considerably 
abated, but have other disagreeable complaints about 
me. Pray give me the pleasure of receiving a line by 
y e first opp y . 


To his Exc? the Presid*, the Hon. the Senate, & the 
Hon. H. of Rep 8 , of the State of N. H., in Gen 1 Court 

The Mem & Pet n of J. B., citizen of y e s d State, 
humbly sheweth : 

That y r memorialist hath with great labor & expence 
completed & published a volume of the history of s d 
State, in which he hath endeavoured faithfully & impar- 
tially to delineate the struggles & sufferings of our an- 
cestors in the cause of liberty & for the quiet possession 
of this good land, w ch by the blessing of God is now our 
inheritance ; and he begs leave, with the utmost respect, 
to present two copies of the said work to this Hon b ! e 
Court, one of which he desires may be deposited in the 
Secretary's Office for the use of the Hon. Council & 
Senate, the other in the office of the Clerk of y e Hoii 
House of Rep 8 for the use of the members. 

* Printed from the original rough draft in the handwriting of Mr. Belknap, indorsed by 
him " Memorial to ye G. Court of N. Hamp., 1785." —Eds. 


Your memorialist is now engaged in continuing the s d 
History, & is endeavouring by all means in his power to 
obtain such information as will enable him to give a 
correct account not only of the civil & military affairs of 
the country in times past, but a geographical description 
of the same, & some sketches of its natural history, of 
the improvements & cultivation which have been made, 
& the advantages wherewith Nature has endowed it for 
further improvements of various kinds. In the prosecu- 
tion of this work, & especially the latter part of it,, it 
will be necessary for him to be much absent from home 
in making observations & collecting information in various 
& distant parts of the State, which, considering his situa- 
tion & connexions in life, must be attended with much 
expence as well as labour. 

To your Exc y & Honours, as the constitutional patrons 
of science, j T . pet r humbly looks up, not doubting that if 
his design shall appear to you to be (as he conceives it 
is) conducive to the public benefit, you will afford him 
such countenance & assistance as to y r Ex y & Hon 8 in y r 
wisdom & goodness shall seem meet. 

And y r pet r , as in duty bound, sh 1 ever pray, &c. 



Boston, July 8, 1785. 

Dear Sir, — Such has been the constant business in 
which I have been engaged since I came hither, that I 
have had scarcely time to think for myself, much less to 
write to my friends; but you have been much in my 
mind & upon my heart, and I wanted to communicate 
many things to you, which communication would have 
been a relief to me, if it had been no pleasure to you. 

I was translated in a fiery chariot. However, I got 
thro' with less difficulty than I expected. I hope it will 



be for the best, and that my usefulness, as well as my 
comfort, will be increased. I should have sent for you 
to instalment, but it was in the depth of winter and the 
notice was very short ; it could have been but a compli- 
ment. I send you by y r father 2 sermons, one for you & 
the other for M r Merriam, which I pray you to transmit. 

Pray how do your people conduct towards you now, 
and is there anything in my power to be done which may 
tend to promote y r interest or y* of y r family ? If there 
is, you will give me pleasure in communicating it to me. 
I have endeavored to y e utmost to promote y e sale of y r 
History. It deserves to be read & does y r country honor. 

Give my love to M rs Belknap & y r good family, and 

believe me to be, 

Y r sincere f 'd & ser*, 

Peter Thacher. 

Rev. Jeremy Belknap. 


Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Philadelphia. To be left with M r Aitkin, Printer. 

Newbury Port, Sept. 22 d , 1785. 
Rev d & dear Sir, — The knowledge of your candor 
& benevolence renders it unnecessary for me to apologize 
for saying I am sorry I did not think to ask the favor of 
your making favorable mention of my System of Arith., 
as you may have opportunity among gent, of your 
acquaintance, booksellers, &c, even as far as your jour- 
ney may extend. Shou'd I ever sollicit subscriptions, 
your personal recommendation of it might render me 
most essential service. If it lays in your way to enquire 
whether the several States thro' which you travel have 

* Nicholas Pike, the arithmetician, was born at Somersworth, N". H., Oct. 17, 1743, 
graduated at Harvard College in 1766, died at Newburyport, Dec. 9, 181,9. He published, 
in 1788. his "New and Complete System of Arithmetic," which was for a long time the 
principal treatise on the subject in use in New England. In the Belknap Papers are nu- 
merous letters from him; but they have not been thought of sufficient interest or im- 
portance to be printed in this collection. — Eds. 


done anything to secure literary property, I cou'd wish 
to know the terms required in each State. 

With sentiments of esteem & respect, I am, rev d & 
dear Sir, friend & hble serv fc , 

Nicolas Pike. 


Boston, Jan? 24, 1786. 

My dear Sir, — I received yours, 12 th Jan y , & before 
I had received it had come to much the same conclusion 
about you as you express upon not hearing from me. 
Judge then that I was somewhat disappointed when, in- 
stead of a long letter, such a very short one was handed 
to me. I expected after your arrival at Dover to have 
been made acquainted with it, the situation of your 
affairs, &c. But when Waters & I met, — When did you 
hear from B. ? Not yet ! &c, &c, &c. As to my pre- 
paring a long letter, I thought you knew enough of me 
to be persuaded that carelessness was the sin that easily 
besets me, and that I never yet begun a sermon till the 
last moment. So it is with my writing letters. I do not 
stimulate opportunities, but find it necessary they should 
stimulate me. I have taken it into my head to reform 
several times, but never yet succeeded so far as the 
present letter evinces, for I have sat down to write upon 
the recept of yours. A good beginning ! Well, may it 
never have a bad ending. 

After you left Boston I was sick, quite in a relaxed 
habit of body, and was obliged to neglect Moice's lec- 
tures. * Now to give you a particular account of all these 

* Henry Moyes, M. D., an Englishman, came to this country after the war, and lectured 
in New York, Boston, and elsewhere, on natural history and other subjects. Rev. Manasseh 
Cutler records in his diary, under date of Nov. 11, 1785 : "In the evening attended Dr. 
Moyes' Philosophical Lecture at Faneuil Hall. Ticket, three shillings. His subject, the 
anatomy of plants, tolerably agreeable." (See Life, Journals, and Correspondence of Rev. 
Manasseh Cutler, LL. D., vol. i. p. 117.) Dr. BelkDap's copy of the printed sjdlabus of 
the course, which consisted of eighteen lectures, is in the library of this Society. — Eds. 

1786.] JOHN ELIOT. 305 

lectures would not be in my power ; besides, very few of 
them were worth treasuring up in one's mind. Much 
more labour than profit then would it be to go over & 
write down his observations with all those parts of Pope, 
Addison, Young, Thomson, Milton, Shakespear ; all the 
love poems, pretty ditties, &c, with which he relieved the 
minds of his audience, not too much fatigued with lessons 
of philosophy. Yet many of his observations were 
curious, some things new ; and upon the whole more is 
to be said in favour of him than against him, — this 
being taken into consideration, that his audience were 
such a promiscuous assembly. There was one lecture 
upon the different state of man, from a savage state to 
compleat civilization, which was superficial & empty to 
the last degree. Nothing but scraps of poetry upon the 
virtues of the fair. It was Quixotine altogether, and 
displeased part of that sex who are said (illnaturedly) 
to relish flattery. There were some tho' who were not 

You have the syllabus. Any particular thing you wish 
to know, note it in your letter, & I will pay particular 
attention to it. I have notes of some things that are 
curious. If I mistake not, his account of the aurora bore- 
alis upon electrical principles you were made acquainted 
with while in town. His lectures of the vegetable world 
were among the most curious. I give you one remark 
because it was new to brother Cutler, who is a botanist, 
a science of which I am ignorant altogether. " All roots 
are without acid. Sweet roots yield leaves only. Those 
which produce flowers & fruits are astringent." " All 
plants living creatures proved from their analogy to ani- 
mals in 8 things: organisation, perspiration, nutrition, 
sleeping & w r aking, progress from infancy to old age," 
&c, &c. I was mostly pleased with his observations upon 
the food of plants, for I am rather fond of the study of the 
factitious airs, upon which he was very particular. Sub- 



stance of plants, salts, water, earth, air, phlogiston. The 
salts & earth adventitious ; there remains water, dephlo- 
gisticated air, phlogisticated air, & phlogiston. The roots 
are nourished by water & phlogiston ; the branches by 
dephlogisticated air & phlogisticated air. He observed 
that light was absolutely necessary for the nourishment 
of plants. Behold the flower put into a room, said he, 
how it bends towards the window to drink in the liquid 
glory, & bow in adoration to the great author of the day, 
the source of light & vigour ! 

You ask about the Magazines. I lent mine, & have 
not been able to procure others, except I should buy 
the whole volume. Some loose ones I have which I 
will send with this, if the opportunity be favourable for a 

Capt. Goodwin sailed from Virginia for France between 
the 15 & 20 of December. I had a letter dated the 6 th . 
He was well & in good spirits considering the voyage. 

We have had some things to divert us, particularly the 
Oratorio. The music was fine. M r Ray sung melodiously, 
& the instruments would have made Sewall leap. By 
the way, that gentleman sent to me to forward the publi- 
cation of his works, — a volume of poetical miscellanies. 
How do you think that he will make out ? He may for- 
get all about it. To return to the Oratorio. The best 
description of it was given in the Centinel, — high 
wrought, to be sure, the glowing pen of Mr. Gardiner. 
We gathered above 600 dollars beyond all expenses; 
have taken a number of debtors out of prison, made the 
rest comfortable, besides having supplied 28 blankets for 
so many criminals. A good deal of money remains un- 
disposed off. M r Anning, the Presbytean parson of Long 
Lane,* instead of accepting a place in the committee, 
refused by a long letter, in w ! 1 among other things he 

* See note, ante, p. 263. —Eds. 

1786.] JOHN ELIOT. 307 

said, "he supposed it inconsistent with the clerical char- 
acter to be at a concert of music. He should not be 
present where the name & attributes of God were so 
often prostituted. There need nothing more to increase 
the vices of the town," &c. 

Another thing in the wind, & of a very windy nature 
from what I know of it, " The Humane Society." The 
subscription only 6/8, & therefore I put down my name. 
Some vain thing to make some young physicians im- 

What think you of the Rev d Parson Murray's fine 
assemblies? Aye. He wants to get into Boston, and 
his house is shut up when he does not come. Our people 
are so nice that they wont hear Streater, Winchester, 
the duplicate, &c. Their principal may come to Boston 
once too often. We have no dread. Had Buck, acted 
as we do, he need not have so much to trouble him. 
Noah don't come here.* He owes too much. Besides, he 
would not have hearers. It must be the vivacity, the 
jeu d' esprit, of Murray to make even the blase; much 
more than his talents would be required to preserve it. 

Have you seen Abbe Mably's letters to John Adams 
upon the Constitutions of these States ? 

Nancy is well, & sends her regards to you & yours. 

Do you ever see our folks at Portsmouth ? They are, 
especially he, — what they are. 

I am, dear Sir, with all esteem & affection, 

Y rs , John Eliot. 

* Rev. l$Toah Parker, of Portsmouth, N. H., who is often referred to in Mr. Eliot's 
letters, sometimes as Noah and sometimes as Parker, was born March 17, 1734, and died 
Aug. 17, 1787. He was brought up as a blacksmith, after receiving a good education, and 
became a Universalist preacher in 1777. (See Eddy's Universalism in America, vol. i. 
pp. 164, 273-275.)— Eds. 



Rev d . MC Belknap, Dover, N. Hampshire. 

Boston, Feb? 8 th , 1786. 

Dear Sir, — I am better than you will allow me to be, 
tho' not better than I should be. I wrote you a long 
letter for your very short one, and now I am writing 
again. It is not because I love to write, speaking ab- 
stractly, but because I love to write to you. Nor do 
I say this to heap coals of fire upon your head, only 
will I leave them w ch are there already, which are just 
enough to singe your pate without melting you down. 

Since I wrote, have read the Monthly Review where 
the History of N. H. is exhibited by the critics, who say 
that the author is a man of candour, judgm*, & good sense. 
The passages they quote are some parts of your Preface ; 
the character of the Indians, as handed forth in the speci- 
men previously to its publication ; also the letter from 
the Indian sachem to Governor Mason. Let me ask you 
one question. Did you ever notice Governor Wentworth? 
Would there not be a propriety in sending him one, con- 
sidering his affection for your State ? 

Perhaps you may receive a visit from Paddy Whack in 
his rout from this place to Kennebeck. You must let 
him find fault with every thing in & about you. 

Nancy says that I must tell you that merit does not 
always go unrewarded; but an instance to the contrary 
is now manifest from the appointment of Major Shaw to 
be Consul at Canton. She has meaning applicable, &c. 

One thing I must inform you about. The famous ex- 
periment of making salt water fresh is evaporated into 
something worse than thin air. It is all a bubble of bub- 
bles. Old Pater West has been imposed upon grossly* 
The man whose scheme was to filtrate it thro' sand would 

* Rev. Samuel West, D. D., of Dartmouth, Mass. See note, ante, p. 189. — Eds. 

1786.] JOHN ELIOT. 309 

always wet the sand in secret with fresh water, which 
West did not know. He never would make more than 
three gallons at a time, & he put about 4 over the sand, 
which was put in a hogshead with a false bottom full 
of holes, & the salt water brought under this, & then 
by a machine he pressed the salt water ag. the sand, and 
having a cock at the top, he turned it, & out came water ; 
viz*, the fresh water with w T hich the sand was wet, which 
being pressed by the salt would, according to all the laws 
of hydrostatics, come out first; for thus we see springs 
of fresh water raised by salt water. When the 3 gal- 
lons were poured out, he then stopped, & said the sand 
would not do to filtrate any more, &c. It was found out 
by a man who gave 100 dol. to know part of the secret ; 
& attempting to try it without wetting the sand with fresh 
water, the water came out in the same manner, but as 
salt as you please. Poor Pater West ! Among the decipi- 
aturs, tho' far from being a deceiver in himself. He has 
written a pompous account of this affair to the Ambassa- 
dor of the Court of London. And the Dartmouth philos- 
opher is now the glory of Massachusetts among the literati 
of Europe. They will soon deal out satyre as liberally as 
they have dealt out their praises. 

Have you seen or heard of D r Ramsay's History of the 
War in the Southern States ? He wrote to me to know 
how many copies he might send here. I fear that from the 
price and local description it may not be saleable. Gordon 
is in the zenith of subscription glory. He offers his pro- 
posals & then a printed receipt for 20/. Who can help giv- 
ing it ? You must fight at least against his countenance. 
I guess he will carry 1000 subs, from America, — 1000£. 

Do you ever see our Portsmouth connections ? I wish 
to converse with you — how much dol! — about things 
not so clever to commit to writing. 

Love to Ruthy & the children. And am 

Yrs. most affectionately, J. Eliot. 




Rev d . M r . Jeremy Belknap, Dover. 

Boston, March 15, 1786. 

Dear Sir, — I trust that you have received my letter 
per Jo. Haven, which with one before & this after will 
convince you how very assiduous I am to improve every 
opportunity of writing to so worthy a friend ; one in 
every respect far my superior except in this matter of 
punctuality in answering letters. 

How are you? Hope you have passed the winter 
agreably. I have enjoyed health & spirits since Decem- 
ber, when I had a turn of the hippo, almost in the Sewal 
style, perhaps nothing differing but indisposition to in- 
dulge it, or else the free use of the solitary bottle, &c. 

Well, the law suit is so far settled that our Judges did 
reject the decree of the Court of Appeals, which decides 
the matter against Doane in this State ; but he intends to 
seek a discontinuance of the cause here, & pursue it some- 
where else if he can* In this case the Portsmouth 

gentlemen must seize his property for damages, & so on 
each side they will be able to contribute this good to 
society, — feast the lawyers, who already are equal in 
this country to an E. 0. table in Great Britain. Sewall 
opened the cause, went over the commencem* of hostili- 
ties, the troops dancing from Lexington to the tune of 
Yankee Doodle, &c. We who had heard so much of this, 
& so highly of his reputation as a pleader, were some- 
what disappointed. Altho' Parsons had the worst side, 
yet he was as a huge comet at the side of a twinkling 
star. It would not do to speak thus in New Hampshire. 

* This reference is to the protracted litigation growing out of the capture by the priva- 
teer M'Clarv of the brigantine Lusanna. (See "A Statement of the Cause of the M'Clary 
Owners and Doane & Doane's Administrators, from its Commencement, in 1777, to its 
Close in the Supreme Court of the United States, February, 1795." Portsmouth, N. H. f 
1795.) — Eds. 

1786.] JEREMIAH LIBBEY. 311 

What think you of poor Gordon's basting? He will 
not obtain subscribers. Yet how strange that printers 
should have so much influence in society. D v . Eamsay 
wrote to me desiring that I would forward the sale of his 
work. I expect a number of copies, but the scarcity of 
money will prevent so rapid a sale as I could ^wish. The 
subscribers are somewhat numerous to Sewall's poem. 
He is not a little pleased with it. 

Among other things, what do you think of Sam's con- 
jugal address ? I saw a letter from Ruthy to him before 
she had heard of the matter, but a propos to the pres- 
ent situation of his mind, & he was greatly pleased, — 
much elevated with some sentiments she expressed. Sup- 
pose that he has answered her before now. 

My regards wait on her & all concerned. Shall send 
you a few newspapers, &c, that you may see the whole 
of Abbe Mably's letter to M r Adams. 

Nancy & Polly Tread well join in respects. 
I remain yrs., &c, 

John Eliot. 


Portsmouth, August 24 th , 1786. 

Dear S R , — I rec d yours yesterday, but not by Major 
Folsom. Cap* Parker tells me he shall not sail for Phila- 
delphia untill the last of September. His vessell is now 
at sea that he expects to go in. There is no mackarel 
now for sale. I have made some enquiry respecting an 
exchange of lumber for rum & mollasses, but see no pros- 
pect of succeeding at present, but should I find any 
opening I will acquaint you. Lumber of every kind is 
at present very dull sale, so that I cannot advise you to 

* Jeremiah Libbey was postmaster at Portsmouth for many years, and a warm friend of 
Mr. Belknap. He died in 1824, at the age of seventy-six. — Eds. 


purchase much with a veiw of selling it again for the 
articles that would answer for Philadelphia market. 

I copied the peice you inclosd respecting B. G. M. & 
his friends proceedings to have a paper medium, hut the 
printers (i. e. Fowle, who is an advocate for it) would not 
insert it.* The Gen 1 had just been to the office with his 
account of the Convention, which will be published, but 
with such a gloss as to misrepresent or hide the true state 
of the matter. The printers informd me that there were 
two or three petitions handing about in this town for 
people to sign to present to the General Court for a paper 
medium; but if that is the case, it is done in so secret 
a manner that no person is permitted to see it unless 
such persons as they can trust, i. e. people, I suppose, who 
are deeply in debt, and hope by means of paper money 
to pay their debts, no matter how much the creditor 
is cheated ; for whenever it is made, I think that will be 
the consequence, if nothing worse. But if confusion & 
anarchy takes place, which is not unlikely, perhaps those, 
or many of the zealous advocates for paper money, may 
be able to profit by it, and, as self-interest is the ruling 
passion, all we can say is, they act by that rule. But our 
unhappiness is, that we have not a government that will 
check those ruling passions that are destructive to the 
community, & such I veiw the one before named. Should 
they make money at the next session, I am fully per- 
swaded that it would not have a currency in Portsm , for 
the generality of persons are violent against it, and de- 
clare they will not take it, so that I expect, instead of its 
helping us out of our present difficultys, it will, according 
to the old proverb, put us out of the frying pan into the 
fire, — that business of every sort will be stopt, and 
rioting & plunder takes place of what good order we 
now have. 

* We are not able to identify the person referred to under the initials B. G. M., but are 
inclined to think they stand for Brigadier General Jonathan Moulton, of Hampton. See 
the next letter. — Eds. 

1786.] JEREMIAH LIBBEY. 313, 

However, hoping for better things, tho' I really fear the 

evils, I am, dear S r , 

Your most hum le serv*, 

Jeremiah Libbey. 

I should have inclosd you a paper, but they are not 
yet out. Will send you one ^ first oppertunity. 


Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Dover. 

Portsm , Septem r 11 th , 1786. 

Dear S r , — I rec d your favour of the 5 th & 6 th in- 
stant ; thank you for the information ; will make the 
best use of it I can to frustrate their plans. We must 
take mankind as we find them. Its true the picture in 
the case is a very bad one, but you also mention another 
which is more pleasing. But, dear S r , may we not look 

for & expect such characters to appear in all their , 

when the laws of a State, I was going to say, had a ten- 
dency to encourage dishonesty and the evasion of every 
obligation we are under to ourselves & the public. 

There are a few persons in this town that are very 
earnest for paper money, but much the greater part are 
violent against it, among whom is every gentleman that 
represent us ; and from the information I have from 
Exeter, the Court appear to veiw the Conventioneers in 
their proper colour. The General M. was at Exeter con- 
ducting agreable to his usual way, fawning, treating, &c, 
some of the members; and I am in hopes the very 
means he is using to carry his plan into execution will 
defeat it & expose his r y. 

M r Bean, the western post, informs me that P.body 
was not at the Chester Convention, as we have heard, 
but says the same report was in the upper parts of the 



State where he thinks the people in general are against 
paper money. He told me that he saw M r P.body last 
week & enquired of him what was done at the Conven- 
tion. He reply'd, he did not know, for he was not there, 
nor had anything to do with them. Bean then told him 
what he heard. He reply' d, it was a mistake, for the 
people would as soon chuse the devil as him. (I think 
there is a difference sometimes between the principal & 
an agent.) 

M r Adams, who promises to deliver this, can give you 
an account how the Court appear on the occasion, as he 
was with them last week on business respecting the 
Chief Justice, who is now at Congress. 

Inclosed is your papers. I shall observe your direc- 
tions respecting them. With compliments to M rs B., I 
am, dear S r , with much esteem, y r friend & hum. servant, 

Jeremiah Libbey. 

Monday Evening. 

The Chief Justice arrived in town from New York a 
little while ago. 


Col. Josiah Waters, at No. 55 Newbury Street, Boston. Hon'd by the 
Rev d M r . Williams. 

Exetr, 24* Sep!, at night, 1786. 

My dear Sir, — You have, I hope, before this time 
received the letters w ch I wrote you from Portsm last 
Monday. I shall wish you to write to me as soon as you 
can form any judgment whether what I suggested can be 
effected. I expect to spend the greater part of this week 
here or hereabouts, but if you write by the post to 
Portsm , it is probable I can get a letter from thence. I 
should be glad to hear from you after having consulted 
with my friends in Boston before I make any engage- 

1786.] JEKEMY BELKNAP. 315 

merit in these parts, except from one Sabbath to another, 
which I must do, if there be opportunity, to keep myself 
in business. 

The week past has afforded a very busy & important 
scene here. A party of about 200 men headed by y e 
chairman of a late Convention appeared in arms on 
Wednesday last, & beset the house where the Gen! Court 
were sitting, to demand an answer in ^ an hour to a pe- 
tition which they had before sent for an emission of paper 
money. They kept y e Court prisoners all the afternoon, 
but as soon as it grew dark a few old Continental officers 
with some others formed an association, shouted, " Huzza 
for government ! " got out an old field-piece, & set them a 
scampering over the fences, so as to release the members 
from their confinement. The mob retreated about a 
mile or two, & passed the night in some houses & barns. 
In y e evening Gen 1 Sullivan sent out expresses & collected 
y e militia & three companies of light horse. Early y e 
next morning he dispatched a party of 30 horsemen by 
a private road, who came on y e rear of the insurgents, 
took possession of a bridge w ch cut off their retreat, & 
then advanced with y e militia toward the bridge, where 
89 of the insurgents were made prisoners without any 
other damage than a few slight cuts. Parties of y e light 
horse were afterward dispatched as far as Londonderry, 
& some more taken in their own houses & brought here. 
They have been examined. Some of them appeared ex- 
treemly humble & ashamed. They were led into y e 
mischief by artful men, who have kept themselves out of 
the way. The greater part are released & sent home, 
but six of the most culpable are in prison here, to be 
brought before the Superior Court tomorrow. This even- 
ing a report is brot in that a rescue is to be attempted, 
& the Chief Justice has issued a warrant for a strong 
guard at the prison. As this letter must go away early 
in y e morning & I am just going to bed in expectation 


of being awaked before day, I shall keep it unsealed 
tonight ; so, wishing you a bon repos, I conclude for the 

Monday before sunrise. — No disturbance has happened, 
so I hope the culprits are safe. 

The whole conduct of this affair on both sides I trust 
will prove beneficial. " The riotous spirit has met a se- 
vere check, which will give a deep wound to y e knavish 
system ; the hands of lawful government will be strength- 
ened; it will give a spur to y e militia; & each side will 
know the other's strength & weakness. Our Gen 1 Sulli- 
van behaved with great prudence, firmness, & dispatch, 
& success crowned his exertions. Gen* Ceily distin- 
guished himself by rushing sword in hand among y e 
rioters, & pulling them as a butcher would seize sheep in 
a flock. Several other Continental officers & soldiers did 
eminent service. The rabble w r ere struck with a panic at 
y e sight of y e light horse & y e very name of artillery. 
They fled over fences into y e woods, & scattered in all 

Be so kind as to let Cap* Maccarty know y* I have rec d 
his letter. The Loan Office in this State is yet shut, so 
y fc I cannot get his certificate. But I will talk with y e 
Loan Officer, & send him word whether there is any pros- 
pect of success. 

I am, my dear Sir, with much love & affection to y r 
wife & family, 

Y r sincere & obliged friend, 

Jer. Belknap. 


Reverend Jeremy Belknap, Dover. 

Ipswich, Oct? 11 th , 1786. 

My dear Sir, — Previous to my receving your favor 
by M r Hubbard, the Beverly people had made repeated 

1786.] MANASSEH CUTLER. 317 

application to me to know whether you was determined 
to leave your people or not, & if you did, whether you 
would come & preach to them. In consequence of this I 
had wrote you a long letter upon y e subject, & waited an 
opportunity to forward it. But on receiving your letter 
I informed them that y e hope of obtaining you was prob- 
ably at an end. Soon after they proceeded to invite a 
young gentleman, M r Oliver, who had been preaching 
with them, to settle. They were far from being unani- 
mous in their invitation, & there appears to be a very 
considerable opposition, from persons of consequence, to 
M r Oliver's settling with them. M r Oliver has not yet 
given his answer, nor am I able to say, with any cer- 
tainty, which way it will be, as I have not seen M r Oliver ; 
but it seems to be y e opinion of those I have conversed with 
that it will be in y e negative, & should think it would be y e 
most prudent for him. Since receving yours of the 3 d 
instant, I have seen one of their leading men, & informed 
him you was at liberty, which seemed to give him great 
satisfaction, as he was one of M r Oliver's opposers. 

From the reports they have had of you from different 
quarters, the people in general have been very desireous 
of seing you & hearing you preach ; particularly a M r 
Greenwood, formerly of Boston, a very worthy character, 
now settled in Beverly, has been & still is very desirous 
of your coming. He has often heard you preach, & is 
well acquainted with your character. His influence is 
very great in y e parish, & he assures the people they will 
be well united if you can be obtained. There are few 
men on whose judgment I should place greater depend- 
ence in matters of this kind, as he thoro'ly knows y e 
people, & has much to do in their ministerial affairs. 
He also is opposed to M r Oliver. Perhaps I may consider 
his opinion in this case the better founded because it per- 
fectly coincides with my own. It is impossible to judge 
with absolute certainty untill tryal is made, but I can 


entertain no doubt of your being agreeable to them & 
they to you. They will give you a comfortable support ; 
I presume somewhere about £110, & their pay will be 
. punctual. 

As soon as I know M r Oliver's determination, will inform 
you. He has been absent from them y e most of y e time 
since they invited him to settle, & it will be some time 
before they expect his answer. It will aford the great- 
est satisfaction to the ministers in this neighbourhood to 
have you in y e vicinity, & I entertain the hope of its being 
effected. If you should be at leasure a Sunday or two, 
why can't you mount your nobby & come over & see us ? 

Have you seen y e 2 d vol. of y e Transact 8 of y e Soc y at 
Phil a ? I have had opp y only just to run it over. Tho 
it does not seem to abound with mere literature, yet I 
think it is very well done. Your ace* of White Moun- 
tains, in particular, struck me very agreeably. The 
plates, I presume, are not better executed than those in 
the Memoirs of y e Academy; but we are apt to be partial. 
I suspect from their statutes that no American member 
is considered by them as an honorary member, & that the 
same sum of money is required from members of the 
other States as of those of y e State of Pens a before they 
are entitled to a certificate. Did you pay your money 
before you received your certificate ? If this be the 
case, I fancy I must wait for mine untill a depreciated 
paper currency, or y e tender of old horses, will answer 
y e purpose. 

While we are waiting y e event at Beverly, should any 
other vacancy offer it will afford me the greatest satisfac- 
tion to be of any service to you. I hope, & doubt not, 
a door will be opened for your further usefulness in y e 
interesting cause of our Lord & Master. I most cordially 
sympathize with you in the trials you are called to en- 
counter. Tribulation, you know, is y e way to y e king- 
dom, & while we continue faithful y e great Head of the 

1786.] MANASSEH CUTLER. 319 

Chh. will not forsake us, & he often causes light to arise 
out of darkness. 

M rs C. joins me in affectionate regards to you & your 
good lady, & believe that I am most affectionatly yours, 

M. Cutler. 

Reverend M r Belknap. 


Ipswich, Nov. 20 th , 1786. 

Dear Sir, — Cap* Francis of Beverly, one of their 
Parish Com ttee , applied to me last Saturday to know 
whether there was probability of obtaining you to preach 
with them a few days. On being informed that you was 
at Boston, he requested me to write to you, & to desire 
you to preach with them the two Sabbaths following after 
the next Sabbath, viz. the two first Sabbaths in Nov r , 
& the Thanksgiving, w h will be y e 14 th . They expect 
M r Oliver will give his answer on y e Sabbath following 
Thanksgiving, & it seems to be expected by all, & wished 
by many, that it will be in y e negative. They were not 
united in M r Oliver when they gave him a call, but the 
number of disaffected, it is said, has been since increased 
on acco* of his leaving them so long, having never 
preached with them since they invited him to settle, 
which was several months ago. The people are very 
desirous of hearing you, & being now very warm for 
settling a minister as soon as possible, they think there 
is great probability of a union. I wish you may find it 
convenient to supply them on those days, if you have 
any idea of y e situation being agreeable. The bearer is 
in great hast. I must therefore assure you that I am 
Your most affectionate friend & brother, 

M. Cutler. 

I have been so circumstanced since you went to Boston 
that it has not been in my power to write you. Pray 
favor me with an answer to this. 



Rev d M r Jeremy Belknap, Dover. To the care of Jeremiah Libbey, Esq., 


Exeter, 18 th Decern', 1786. 

Dear Sir, — Your kind fav r of the 2 d instant came 
to hand yesterday. The difficulty of the season no doubt 
prolonged its arival. However, I am happy to hear from 
you, but should have been happier to have seen you here, 
tho I hope & trust you have been employd in minis- 
tering to those to whom you have been serviceable, 
advantageous to yourself, & instrument 16 in promoting 
the Redeemer's kingdom. 

We hope to hear from yow again respecting your 
preaching to us, as you mentiond being then under 
some engagement. I most heartily wish that you may 
be directed to labor in that part of the vineyard where 
you may do the most good, & that an effectual door may 
be opend immed y for that important end, and I could 
wish it might be here. But we know not what is for the 
best, our knowledge being but finite. 

You desir'd me to inform you about the interest, pro- 
bity, &c. of one M r David Wright of Hollis. This Wright 
was not an inhabitant in Hollis when T livd there, but 
moved into the town since I left it. I am unacquainted 
with his circumstances altogether. Some of the inhab- 

* Colonel Samuel Hobart was born in Groton, Mass., Aug. 11, 1734, and shortly after 
reaching manhood removed to Hollis, N. H., where he became a prominent citizen. In 
1777 he undertook the manufacture of gunpowder at Exeter, and resided there for several 
years after the war. Finally he removed to Kingston, N. H., where he died June 4, 1798. 
(See Worcester's History of Hollis, N. H., pp. 212, 213.) 

The rousrh draft of an answer to this letter is written on the blank page as follows : 
" As your pple do not seem to have in view the settlement of a min r , the probability 
of my complying w y r invita must depend on convenience. At present I am desired by 
the society to w h I have been preaching in this town to continue my ministrations to 
them until they can determine whether to settle a min r or not, & this request of theirs 
I think it my duty to attend to. Should any alteration take place which may give me 
an opening to return to Exeter, I shall not fail to acquaint you with it, & should any 
alteration be made in ye views of your people I should take it kindly if you would 
inform me. — Dec r 30, 178G." — Eds. 

1786.] SAMUEL HOBART. 321 


itants of that town have represented him to be a pritty 
litigious man, but how that is I know not. As to the 
original right of David Edwards in Dunstable, which he 
proposes for collateral security, I should not esteem it 
equal in value to <£70, tho I may be mistaken. 

I rejoice to hear that the Massechusetts have made a 
good begining to quell the insurrection ; hope they will 
pursue the matter to final judgment & execution. 

Our State continues to be very peaceable & quiet, 
& our government appears to be well established. Our 
President has made a tour round the State, viewing & 
reviewing the militia. He was reed, among the inhab- 
itants with the greatest satisfaction, & his conduct much 
applauded. He has done himself great honor, as also the 
State, in his late tour, & in his exertions to establish & 
confirm government, & reviving military discipline, & I 
think it must have the desired effect. He has taken such 
methods & pursued such measures as appears to be the 
result of mature deliberation, wisdom, & justice. May 
Heaven grant that he may be always favor'd with the 
same spirit! 

I must just mention that the Gen 1 Court Martial ap- 
pointed by the Cap* Gen 1 for the tryal of sundry officers 
of the militia who were aiding & assisting in the late mob 
set in this town. It continued about ten days without 
the least interruption. Sundry of them plead guilty, & 
prayed for mercy ; others that did not plead guilty had 
their tryals in a very forman [sic] just manner. The 
Court proceeded with great solemnity, preserved the 
greatest decorum & good order, together with that im- 
partiallity & fairness that has done them great honor, & 
will be a lasting good to the State. Poor French,* the 
commander-in-chief, was a standing witness ag fc all that 

* Joseph French of Hampstead, James Cochran of Pembroke, and John McKean of 
fLondondeny, were the principal leaders of the paper-money mob at Exeter. (See Bell's 
History of Exeter, N. H.," p. 96.) — Eds. 



did not plead guilty, & continues to be penitent & humble, 
& willing to tell the whole truth. 

M r8 Hobart joins me in our affectionate regard to you, 
& am with great esteem, 

Your friend & seiV, 

Sam l Hobart. 

Rev'd M r Belknap. 


Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Boston, Free, Jere h Libbey. 

Portsmouth, Jan^ 9 th , 1787. 

Dear S% — I rec d yours ^> Fry day's mail. You ask, 
what are our Gen 1 Court about ? I answer, they have 
spent much time, & done but little public business. 
You are not ignorant of the disgreement between two 
persons. However, they have at length comply'd with 
the requisitions of Congress, and have approved of the 
sentences of the Court Martial, after many severe obser- 
vations hy some. Inclos'd is a paper which may give you I 
some idea of the contest. 

They have now under consideration a bill which is | 
termd the Liberty Act, by which it is proposed to appor- 
tion to each town their whole proportion of the foreign n 
and domestick debt, as stated by Congress, as also the in- M 
ternal debt of the State up to a certain period (say '85), 
so that every town shall know what they are in debt in 
consequence of the Revolution, & each town to assess it 
on the inhabitants, to give them an opportunity. If they 
are able & chuse to pay the principle, they may have an 
oppertunity. The interest must be paid punctually, but 
the principle is left to them to discharge as fast as they 
can, so as to stop the interest. It also provides that. 
where any town or individual pays his proportion, they 
shall have such discharges as to indemnify them from any 

1787.] JEREMIAH LIBBEY. 323 

further demand in consequence of others' deficiencys. 
It further provides for the paying the foreign debt, that 
the tax be assess' d for so much money, or such certain 
quantity of beef, flax seed, pot ashes, pearl ashes, &c, 
fixing them at certain prices, and agents are to be ap- 
pointed to receive them, & sell them or export them for 
that purpose on the account & risque of the State. This 
the advocates for it say will enable any man that has any 
property to pay his proportion of the foreign debt without 
any money ; but if he can sell his articles at a higher 
price for the money, he has an oppertunity either to pay 
the articles or money. 

Those who do not approve of it say, it is making the 
present generation pay the whole debt at once, as it in 
effect must opperate as a morgage on every estate for 
the sum so assess'd, & altho' only the interest is demanded 
yearly, yet, if they want to sell, the purchaser will con- 
sider that estate as under an incumbrance to the amount 
of the taxes. What will be the fate of it must be de- 
termin'd by time, tho' many of the members appear to 
like it. M r Fowles can [not] find any of the sermons. 
The Court have now an act to have only two Inferior 
Courts & two Courts of Sessions in each county yearly, 
which destroys one half of the courts so much complaind 
of by some people. It appears to me from what I can 
learn from some of the members, that our public affairs, 
altho' bad, with harmony among ourselves and attention 
to the public business, may yet be recovered to a tolerable 
degree of respectability, comparing them with some of 
our sister States. The mob & its consequences, by having 
the leaders tried & the matter debated as it has been, 
altho' it is disagreeable at present, will, I think, add much 
to the strength of government. I heartily wish that the 
disturbances in Massachusetts might end in the same way, 
but that I much fear. 

I have wrote much more than I intended when I 


sat down, & have not time to examine it. You will 
I know, excuse any blunders & erasements, and believe 
me to be, 

S% your friend & servant, 



Ebenezer Hazard, Esq r , Post Master General, New York. 

Sir, — I have the pleasure to inform you that at a 
meeting of the proprietors of the Columbian Magazine 
last night it was resolved to make application through 
you to your worthy friend, M r . Belknap, to become editor 
of that work, & to make him the offer of one hundred 
pounds per annum for his services, writing included. I 
am therefore to request you will as speedily as possible 
communicate this information or transmit this letter to 
M r Belknap, whose answer is expected with some im- 
patience by the proprietors. 

It is hardly necessary to mention, that at the expira- 
tion of the sixth month an alteration will take place 
in the proprietorship of the Magazine, which will then 
belong wholly to M r Spotswood, M r Cist, & M r Trenchard. 
This will make no difference in the contract with M r 

I am afraid my last letter gave you some unintentional 
offence. I wrote in a very great hurry, & did not recol- 
lect your Christian name. I desired the messenger to 
request of whoever he should see at the post office to 

* Mat hew Carey was the founder of the publishing house which, under various changes 
of name, has filled a prominent place in the literary annals of Philadelphia. He was born 
in Ireland, Jan. 28, 1760, received a good education, and at an early age decided to become 
a printer and bookseller. In 1784 he came to America, and immediately established him- 
self in business in Philadelphia. There he showed great activity, energy, and public 
spirit. He died in that city, Sept. 16, 1839. For some account of Ebenezer Hazard, see 
the Prefatory Note to the First Part of the Belknap Papers, 5 Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. ii. 
pp. x.-xii. — Ens. 

1787.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 325 

supply the deficiency. If it was not done, I hope you 
will excuse the informality. 

I repeat the request contained in my last letter, for 
your assistance in carrying on the American Museum ; 
whatever papers or documents you favour me with shall 
be carefully returned. 

I am, Sir, with esteem, your obedient humble servant, 

Mathew Carey. 

Philadelphia, Jan. 11, 1787. 

P. S. An increase of correspondence] promises that 
the future editor, whoever he may be, will not have much 
occasion to exhaust his own resources too soon. 


Sunday Even?, Jan y 14, 1787. Another post in, & no 
letter from you. What is y e matter ? If I do not 
hear from you soon, I shall be afraid something is amiss. 
Appearances are very favourable; therefore, my dear, 
keep up y r spirits. 

This town is now again assuming a military appearance. 
£5,000 L. M. is raised by subscription to arm & equip 
4,200 men, who are to march this week ag e the insurgents. 
Gen 1 Lincoln is their commander. The money is loaned 
to government. Y r bro subscribed £100. Gov r Bowdoin, 
250. Dec 11 Phillips, 300. ' I saw the list this P. M., none 
less than £6, & but few less than £20. The number 
of men required of this town is 90, which were filled up 
yesterday, & more offered than were necessary. The 
only defect in y e plan of this expedition is that y e men 
are enlisted for no more than 30 days, in which time it is 

* The first part of this letter was cut off, and was not preserved. It was written while 
Mr. Belknap was in Boston, just before his call to the Church in Long Lane, and is indorsed 
in his handwriting, " Jany 14, 1787. Insurrection." — Eds. 


supposed y e insurrexion will be quelled ; but if it should 
take longer time, there must be another enlistment. So 
we did in y e war time, & suffered by it, & yet we repeat 
y e error. 

My love to all my dear children. Y r affectionate husb., 

J. B. 


Boston, January 30 th , 1787. 

Eeverend Sir, — Our manifest wants have long 
pointed out to us the necessity we are in of a Gospell 
minister. The character we have had of you, and our 
own good opinion of your talents and ability, have in- 
duced us to come to a serious ressolution of calling and 
inviting you to become our pastor, which we now do in 
the name of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ, the great 
Head of his Church, and on the behalf of our Society. 

We promise to love and obey you in the Lord, and 
assure you that you shall be as honestly welcome to us 
in all well tim'd admonitions, as in your administrations 
of comfort and consolations to our distresses. 

Suffer us, we pray you, to subjoin the obligations which 
we have laid ourselves under for your comfortable sup- 
port so long as the Lord shall be pleased to continue you 
to be our minister. 

We are, Sir, with love & esteem, your most obedient 
and hum 1 serv ts , 

Simon Elliot, 

Rob. M c Neill, 

Robert Wier, 

Jn° Boies, ^ 

Moses Black, 

Archibald M c Xeill, 

Tho s Lamb, 
The Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Boston. 




Boston, January 28% 1787. At a meeting of the Pro- 
prietors & others of the Congregational Church in Long 

Cap* Robert Wire chosen Moderator. 

Voted unanimously, 

That in case the Rev d Jeremy Belknap settles with us 
as our minister, we will oblige ourselves to pay him for his 
support from the time he commences his charge the sum 
of two pounds eight shillings Lawfull Money ^p week, 
or quarterly if he chooses it, during the whole time of 
his ministry amongst us ; and in case our Society shall 
increase, and the pews be all occupied, the salary shall 
then be increased to a comfortable support. 

2 ly . Voted, that the Proprietors' Committee do present 
the call as soon as may be, and communicate his answer. 

3 ly . Voted, that this meeting be ajourned untel the sec- 
cond Sabbath in Febuary next, immediately after divine 

Robert Wier, Moderator. 


Boston, Feb? 2, 1787. 
My dear Sir, — I am happy to have an oppertunity 
to present you the inclosed paper, & hope Divine Provi- 
dence will afford you that wisdom which is profitable to 
direct, and be assured, Sir, that nothing in my power 
shall ever be wanting to make the conection happy. 

I am yours, &c, 

Francis Wright. 

The Rev d Jeremy Belknap. 

* Francis Wright was one of the Deacons of the Church in Long Lane. In the Boston 
Directory for 1796 he is called a "tobacconist." His place of business was at 56 State 
Street, and his house in Cow Lane. Subsequently he became " inspector of tobacco, butter, 
and lard." — Eds. 



Boston, Feb>: 7, 1787. 

Gentlemen, — Be pleased to communicate to the 
church and congregation whom you represent my ac- 
ceptance of the invitation which you have given me to 
take the pastoral care of them according to the Word of 

The unanimity which you have discovered in this 
transaction, and the affectionate manner in which you 
have communicated your request, indicate such a spirit 
of love & fidelity as gives me the surest pledge of peace 
and usefulness among you. 

Fully convinced of the truth and importance of the 
Christian religion, and desirous to preach to others that 
Gospel by which I hope to be saved myself, I ask your 
prayers for me, and shall always depend upon your 
hearty cooperation with me in my endeavours to promote 
the cause of truth & righteousness, & the welfare of the 

From the character which you bear among your neigh- 
bours, as well as your own promise expressed in your 
votes, I have full reliance on your sincere intention to 
afford me that " comfortable support " which will keep 
my mind free from embarrassment with regard to ex- 
ternals, and enable me to pursue my studies & attend to 
the several parts of my ministerial work with cheer- 

That the blessing of God may rest on you & your 
families, that additions may be made to your num- 
bers of such as shall be saved, & that you may be 

* This letter is printed from the copy entered on the records of the Church in Long 
Lane, which differs in a few unimportant instances from the rough draft preserved in the 
Belknap Papers. — Eds. 


my joy & crown in the day of the Lord, is the sincere 
prayer of 

Your affectionate friend & ser* in the Lord, 

Jeremy Belknap. 

To the Committee of the Congregational Society in Long Lane, to be 
communicated to s d Society. 

M r Bellknap. 

Philadelphia, 3 d February, 1787. 

Mr. Bellknap, Sir, — In addition to what has been 
offered to you for undertaking the editorship of the 
Columbian Magazine, I have a proposal to submit for 
your consideration, which is, that I will engage to pay 
you, for one year certain, fifty pounds for such assistance 
as you may give me in conducting a newspaper now 
printed in this city, and which in a few days is to become 
solely my property, in titled the Pennsylvania Herald and 
General Advertiser. The attendance will be requisite on 
the afternoons of the days previous to publication, and the 
time altogether shall not exceed eight hours each week. 

It will be in my power, and equally my desire, from 
the probable intercourse I may have with M r Bellknap, to 
bring forward other business in the literary line, that will 
turn out productive of farther advantages to M r Bellknap, 
but judge it premature to particularize anything at pres- 
ent, from the uncertainty of such business occurring, and 
a doubt whether it might be acceptable to him. 
I am, Sir, your most humble servant, 

William Spotswood. 

* Mr. Hazard, in a letter to Mr. Belknap dated New York, Jan. 20, 1787, says : " Mr. 
Spotswood is a bookseller in Philadelphia, who, as well as Mr. Cary, came to America 
since the peace." (See 5 Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. ii. p. 451.) In 1795 he issued a csita- 
logue of books for sale by him at No. 55 Marlborough Street, Boston; and in the Boston 
Directory of the following year he is put down as a "printer and bookseller" at that 
place. — Eds. 



Boston, Feby. 27, 1787. 

Sir, — Your favor of 3 d ins* is come to hand, inclosed 
by my worthy friend, M r Hazard. Had I not formed a 
connexion with a congregation in this place previous to 
y e proposals made by you & other gentlemen in Phil a , it 
is probable that I should have made an attempt to visit 
your city by this time. I hope you will be able to pro- 
cure a more worthy person to supervise the publications 
in w h you are or may be engaged, but if you think it 
proper to employ me to collect & digest any matters at 
this distance, I shall readily engage to furnish you with 
what may be in my power, & I think it is & will be in 
my power, & much more my wish, to do something w ch 
may help the cause. Any communications or commands 
with which I may be honoured will be duly attended to. 
I wish to be a subscriber to y e Magazine & Museum, & to 
have the numbers w h are published sent me. There will 
soon be a vessell from hence at Phil a , Cap* Doggett, by 
whom I wish to receive them, directed to y e care of M r 
Moses Black, merch* & owner of s d vessell. If you will 
favor me with one or more subscription papers, I will 
endeavor to procure as many customers as I can. 

M r William Spotswood, Phil a , Front Street. 


Philadelphia, 16 th April, 1787. 

Sir, — I have rec d your favor of the 27 th February last, 
^j> Capt. Dagget. The letter inclosed, addressed to your 
son, was immediately forwarded.! 

* Printed from Mr. Belknap's rough draft. — Eds. 

t Mr. Belknap's eldest son, Joseph, was at this time living in Philadelphia as an ap- 
prentice to Robert Aitken. (See 5 Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. ii. pp. 479, 480.) — Ens. 


I must confess myself concerned for the future interest 
of the work which has been undertaken, that a prior en- 
gagement has deprived us of the assistance of a gentle- 
man so likely to ensure success. Upon your declining 
the editing the Magazine, application was made to a gen- 
tleman in this city for that purpose, which he has under- 
taken. On perusal of the numbers since published, you 
can form an opinion what advances we are making 
towards improvement. The proprietors, however, pay 
handsomely for it, £50 a year in addition to the sum 
offered to you. The inducement to this, by which every 
idea of profits to the proprietors has been relinquished, 
was from the motive of giving it every support in their 
power, so as to carry it through for six months longer 
with some degree of credit, and at the termination of 
that period it will shew how far it may be worth while to 
persevere ; and as the volume will then be completed, it 
may be declined with greater propriety. The Magazine, 
as it now stands, wears rather a flattering aspect, the 
sales being to am* of 1,500 or more. This success must 
be imputed rather to the novelty of such a publication 
than to any merit it can as yet lay claim to. All it now 
wants to give it permanency is a capable editor, who will 
take its interests warmly in hands, by supplying it with 
as many original pieces as possible, and when extracts 
are given, to be from new works, or from old that are not 
generally known. 

I have submitted to the gentlemen concerned with me 
in the publication of the Magazine the offer you have 
been so kind as [to] make of assistance in your present 
situation, for which they have desired me return you 
their acknowledgments, and to observe that the heavy 
sum they have engaged to pay the present editor leaves 
little room for hazarding any farther expense, as his ex- 
ertions ought to be such as to render it unnecessary. 
The proprietors are not insensible that there yet remains 



great room for improvement, and regret that their situa- 
tion is such as leaves it not in their power to make an 
offer adequate to your merit. I however have their 
authority to make you the following proposal, — that 
they agree to allow you for every piece furnished, if in- 
serted in the Magazine, one guinea. The contents of 
each piece to occupy about three pages of the Magazine, 
in the type generally used, which is called Long Primer. 
Those which appear most wanting are of the humorous, 
entertaining style. If this offer should meet with your 
approbation, two or three pieces, as may suit your con- 
venience, will be accepted of each month, to be paid for 
immediately after publication. I have also been desired 
to request your being so kind as to recommend them a 
punctual person for undertaking the sale of the Magazine 
in Boston. If you should succeed in the choice of one, it 
will be necessary that intimation shall be sent here what 
number of the Magazines will be necessary, and whether 
complete sets from the beginning shall be sent. Inclosed 
are a few subscription papers, agreeable to your request. 

I happened thro' extreme hurry of business occasioned 
me to miss the opportunity of answering your letter and 
forwarding the Museums and Magazines, but have since 
sent them under cover to your friend, M r Hazard, who 
will be so kind as to convey them safe to you from New 
York. As magazines and newspapers pay no postage, I 
might have sent them ^ post from this city, but thought 
it best to commit them to his care. You will please to 
accept my thanks for y e article of intelligence you were 
so kind as to send me, which to a newsmonger must have 
been acceptable. 

I remain, Sir, with esteem & respect, your obliged, 
humble servant, 

William Spotswood. 

1787.] JEREMIAH LIBBEY. 333 


Portsmouth, April 20 th , 1787. 

Dear S k , — I rec d yours of the 18 th instant, inclosing 
one for your father, which I shall forward as you request. 

I have not had any offer for your interest that was 
worth writing you about. The only one was made by 
M r Clapham, of Dover, which was only 800 dolls, for the 
whole interest. I told him it was not worth while to 
talk much about it if he would not offer more. He sup- 
posed that was the full value (as he said). Therefore we 
dropt the subject, & I did not think it worth while to 
mention it to you. 

The insurgents of several denominations by their conduct 
appear to threaten the destruction of what little govern- 
ment we have, & what will be the event of such pro- 
ceedings God only knows. I conclude, when Pope said, 
" Whatever is is right," he must have had a veiw beyond 
civil government, for in our present situation as citizens 
of this world the greater part of what is is wrong, & the 
conduct of people in general in our present situation is to 
be reprobated, as it tends to destroy all government & 
peace among ourselves. 

If the Convention in May next "can strengthen, or 
rather unite us in a federal government, (for at present we 
have only the name,) it will be a happy event. What 
prospect there is for such a union you can judge much 
better than I can. For my own part, I see no prospect 
of our having a good government while I am on the 
stage of life, and sometimes I am so happy as to feel 
myself tolerable easy, considering that it is a world of 
trouble, & I must or ought while passing thro' make 
myself & family as easy as possible. At other times it is 
the reverse. However, I think the best way is to do our 
duty as far as we can, & then leave the event without 
distressing ourselves about tomorrow. But I find that 


a hard duty. You will excuse my thus raving. Just as- 

the tho'ts came on reading yours, I have wrote. I know 
your candour will overlook it. 

With my best wishes for the prosperity of you and 
yours, I am, dear [Sir], your hum le servant, 

Jeremiah Libbey. 


Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Boston. 

Portsmouth, May 11 th , 1787. 

Dear S r , — I rec d yours of the 2 d instant, with the 
proposals for the Columbian Magazine. I will offer it to 
the gentlemen here, & should an}' of them become sub- 
scribers or offer any productions I will inform you. Our 
friend Sewall has deliverd the books you mentiond, 
which are now forwarded. 

I really wish our public affairs were in a better situa- 
tion, and that the priviledges we have been indulged 
with were properly improved. It appears to me we have 
no just ideas of the favours we have been indulged with, 
and that our conduct proves it. As to our annual elec- 
tions at present, they are an evil. Good behaviour does 
not seem to be the way to secure an election, but I wont 
say what. 

You know in part what parties have been in this State 
respecting a President, & I am sorry to see it not in the 
least decreased between the two candidates. I hope the 
same temper will not reign between your two. That 
the States must suffer where such parties are is evident. 
I can see no reason why 12 months should be the period 
of the authority of the man who does behave well, but 
I said before good behaviour did not appear to be the 

It is very true we shall never get the civil or religions 
world to our mind, tho' at certain times we are apt to 

1787.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 335 

censure those who do not do & say as we think they 
ought (when we reflect "on Him who knows our frame 
& orders all things well " ). We only condemn ourselves. 
I will stop, least my insignificant remarks should weary 
you, wishing we may act the part of rational beings 
while on the stage of life. 

I am, d r S r , your friend & servant, 

Jeremiah Libbey. 

P. S. I remember you recommended to me for the 
use of my office a lamp that would consume the smoke. 
If you can with conveniency procure a small one fit for 
my office, I shall be much obliged to you to purchase it, 
& M r Hastings will send it in the mail. Please to men- 
tion the cost & I will repay it. If the tin ones are as 
good as glass, I should prefer a tin one. 

Yrs, Jeremiah Libbey, 

The letter for D r Green I have rec d , & will forward. 


Boston, 18 May, 1787. 

Sir, — By a letter from my friend, M r Hazard, I have 
a paragraph of one of yours to him, dated April 10, 
wherein you offer me " 20 guineas p r annum for writing 
the historical part of an annual Register, & wish to have 
a line from me on the subject." Before I give an answer 
to this propos 1 , I wish to be satisfied of the following 

1. From what period you would wish to have the 
history commence. 

2. Whether it is to comprehend y e history of y e United 

* This letter is printed from a rough draft, with many erasures and interlineations; 
and in making a fair copy to send to Mr. Carey, Mr. Belknap no doubt made some changes 
in the arrangement of his suggestions. — Eds. 


States, their foreign connections, &c, & y e transactions of 
each individually. 

3. From what materials y e work is to be compiled, & 
by whom provided. 

4. At what time it must be ready for the press. 

My situation may enable me to come at materials 
for writing y e annual transactions of the State of Massa- 
chusetts without much difficulty, & I suppose with some 
pains & expence I might obtain a sufficient knowledge of 
N. Hamp., R. Island, Connec*, & Vermont ; & with regard 
to y e federal transactions at home & abroad, none except 
what is derived from their publications. [If you chuse 
that I should undertake y e whole, & can procure me ma- 
terials, I will work them up according to y e best of my 
ability], & [in proportion to y e authenticity & variety of 
y e materials will be the merit of y e histoiy, excepting 
y e style, manner, & disposition of facts, which will be his 
own, good or bad]. 

From y e little experience I have had of historical wait- 
ing, I should suppose as proper a method as any would 
be this : that collection be made of all y e public news- 
papers, journals, pamphlets, plans, & drawings that may 
be published from time to time in each State, or in foreign 
countries relative to America, & your compiler furnished 
with them ; that he should select such facts & observa- 
tions as are w r orth preserving from them, & enter them in 
a memorandum with references. In that case a number 
of queries will arise in his mind which he will w 7 ish to 
pursue in order to gain a more clear & particular knowl- 
edge than can generally be had by publications of y e 
common sort. To solve doubts & difficulties w b may thus 
arise, & pursue enquiries into matters but superficially 
known, it would be proper that he should have some 
intelligent & faithful correspondent in each of y e States 
to whom he may apply, & from whom he may expect 
a regular & seasonable return. Then his judgment & 

1787.] JEREMY. BELKNAP. 337 

industry ought to guide him in forming his disposition 
& executing y e work. In proportion, &c. 

I have no correspondents at the southward beyond 
N. Y. & Phil a , but what I have there may be improved. 

From some materials which I can now command I may 
be able to furnish some articles in American geography 
.& biography & nat 1 history, & it is probable that such 
materials may increase with time, enquiry, & farther 
acquaintance. It might be an easy matter with writers 
of a certain sort to dish up a fricasee of newspaper in- 
telligence & dignify it with y e pompous title of The 
History of y e United States. But a person who values 
his reputation as a writer would chuse to have the best 
materials, & even then would hesitate about many things 
w ch an inconsiderate scribler would venture to throw out 
at random. To write y e history of one's own time, & to 
write it at or very near y e time when y e events come into 
existence, is in some cases impossible, in others improper. 
Facts & transactions are often viewed thro' y e medium of 
prejudice at first, but in a course of time those prejudices 
may subside, & y e same person may view y m in another 
light, & draw observations & conclusions of a very differ- 
ent complexion. Besides, y e views & designs of y e actors 
on y e public theatre are often concealed, & a writer of y e 
most honest intentions may very innocently give a wrong 
colouring to things, whereas time & accident may develop 
secrets & strip off disguises w h it is impossible at first 
enquiry to discover. 

From these & other considerations I consider your pro- 
posal with diffidence. Zealous as I am to serve y e cause 
of science, I consider my reputation as at stake y e mo- 
ment I consent to undertake y e work. The magnitude 
of y e objects, y e difficulty of obtaining y e knowledge w h 
an historian ought to be possessed of, & y e time y* must 
be employed in y e work, are discouraging circumstances. 
The prospect of a pecuniary compensation is thrown into 



y e other scale, & indeed a man who devotes himself to 
such a work (unless his genius, leisure, & fortune will 
permit him to give his labors to y e public) should have 
some stimulus to undertake it. But by what rule shall 
y e value be estimated ? It may be easier for y e printer to 
say what he can afford to give, than y e author what he 
can afford to take, & perhaps, after all y e calculations w h 
can be made, we may be obliged to adopt y e old Hucli- 
brastic rule to w ch people in trade often have recourse, & 
in w h they sometimes scarcely find even y e shadow of 

Upon y e whole, Sir, I think y e nature of y e work must 
be such as to need being covered by an apology ; it must 
necessarily be imperfect, premature, & indigested in a 
degree ; yet when these things are known & considered 
by a candid mind, it may be said nothing more is ex- 
pected, & so it may pass off, as many periodical publica- 
tions do. I suggest these hints with you, if you think 
you shall be able to overcome y e greatest difficulty, viz. y e 
providing materials of the right sort & in proper season, 
& chuse to employ me in preference to any other person. 
Perhaps we may not find much difficulty in guessing (for it 
will be but a guess at first) at what lay it can be done. 
But really, Sir, to speak impartially upon y e matter, I 
think it would be for y e reputation of y e work to have 
three compilers, one as near each end of y e United States 
as possible & one in y e centre. My situation, &c. 

From some, &c. 

You may, therefore, if you please, consider me as a 
candidate for employment, but as one who needs farther 
satisfaction before he can make a determination, & as y r 
most obed fc serv*, 

J. B. 

M r Matthew Carey, Phil". 

1787.] NICHOLAS PIKE. 339 

Rev? Jeremy Belknap, Boston. 

Newbury Port, May 19th, 1787. 

Rev d and dear Sir, — Your favor came safe to hand, 
and I have as yet offered it to but a few, but shall exert 
myself in the matter, though I expect little or no success. 
We are become very poor here. There is scarcely a 
rnerch* in town able to carry on business but in a very 
small way. We are clad with poverty as with a garment. 
However, I wish to know who are the proprietors or 
publishers of this Magazine, and how they are to come. 
Shou'd I be so fortunate as to procure any subscribers, 
as you observe, there will be no postage. If they are to 
come by water, they will be very uncertain. I mention 
these things that I may be able to satisfy the enquiries 
of people. I congratulate my respected friend on his so 
happy resettlement, & wish him all prosperity, — that is, 
if he & his lady will always make my house their home in 
passing & repassing. 

I know of no one at present who wou'd be likely to be 
a purchaser of your house. It is a very unfavorable time 
to sell real estate, as it will scarcely fetch half its worth. 

My book is about a fourth part done, but I fear I 
shall be greatly hurt by it, thro' the distraction of the 
times. I wonder what need there was of my commencing 
author. Don't you ? My itch is perfectly cured, but it 
happens too late. 

M rs Pike's sincere regards (my father dislikes compli- 
ments, you know) to yourself & lady accompany those of, 
rev d and dear Sir, 

Your cordial friend & obliged hble. serv*, 

Nic L . Pike. 

Rev d Jeremy Belknap. 



Sir, — I am almost ashamed to write to you after 
so long delaying an answer to your letter. The truth 
is I am so immersed in business, & in so precarious a 
state of health, that I can scarcely seize a moment for 

The various expences & difficulties you have suggested 
in the execution of an Annual Register have almost dis- 
couraged me, — at least for the present. Although I 
never had any idea that the work would be very lucra- 
tive, still I hoped it might, even in the beginning, amply 
defray its own expences, & in the course of time become 
an object of considerable consequence. But the expence 
of an itinerant collector of matter, & of purchasing all the 
pamphlets, papers, votes, proceedings, & c , & c , would, I am 
thoroughly convinced, make it a burden for a very long 
time, considering the small encouragement literature is 
too apt to receive ; and my circumstances are not such 
as to allow me to work pro bono publico. 

However, I am far from totally relinquishing the idea. 
I only postpone it for the present. Whenever greater 
appearance of encouragement, or materials in abundance, 
invite I shall resume it. 

I remain your obedient humble servant, 

Mathew Carey. 

Philadelphia, July 10, 1787. 


Portsmouth, October 24 th , 1787. 

Dear S r , — I rec d your favour of the 19 th instant, & 
have forwarded your letter to the Generah I have had 
no enquirys respecting your interest at Dover since I 

1787.] JEREMIAH LIBBEY. 341 

informd you. I do not think it likely that you could 
put much dependance on selling your lumber for cash 
or mollasses at cash price at present. 

The Constitution as far as I have had oppertunity of 
hearing is very generally liked in this State. How some 
of our leading men in the State (not in this town) approve 
of it I have not heard. Our Court was adjourned to next 
January; but many persons in this town have expected 
the President would call them together immediately on 
the occasion. However no proclamation appears for that 
purpose, which makes some rather severe on the P. ; but 
I have never heard how he likes it. On the whole, I am 
of opinion it will be adopted by this State. I was a few 
days past talking with Major Hale on the subject. He 
says he likes it much, but our General Court will never 
come into it. I ask'd him the reason. " Pho," says he, 
" do you know, if they adopt it, it will make them hon- 
est, & put it out of their power to cheat every body by 
tender laws & paper money. No, no, that will never do." 
Pretty severe, I think. It is now very certain that we 
shall not take up the matter untill you have acted on it ; 
& if you do right, I hope we shall follow your example. 
If, on the contrary, I hope we shall have wisdom & forti- 
tude to act in a becoming manner, & not let any of your 
bad conduct, if you have any, influence us to follow your 
examples in that respect. 

M r Wendell informs me that Continental security[s] 
were sold last week for 2/6 on the <£, with interest due 
on them. How they will sell now he does not know. He 
says he purchases State notes for 3/ on the £, with inter- 
est due on them, & pays for them in anything he has. I 
have done by yours as I should with my own ; let it lay, 
thinking it better than to dispose of it at that rate. 
Should the new Constitution take place, & that it will 
I feel quite sanguine, as you observe, our national char- 
acter will then rise, & the securitys of course. That the 



proposed Constitution may be general approved of & ac- 
cepted is the wish of 

D r S r , your friend & servant, 

Jeremiah Lib bey. 

P. S. I will call on Esq r K. soon. The Court was 
adjourned to Portsm . 



Copy of an Address delivered from the Pulpit on Lord's Day, 
August 4, 1782. 

It is now about six weeks since you thought proper to 
dissolve the parish meeting wherein you were deliber- 
ating on the difficulties which I had proposed to your con- 
sideration. For some time I expected, according to what 
was told me, that you would appoint another wherein 
these matters might more fully be considered ; but in 
this I am disappointed, & I have no reason to expect that 
you will ever revive the consideration of them unless it 
be begun again by me. Where the matter of any sub- 
ject is in itself disagreeable, it is no easy thing to repre- 
sent it in such a manner as will make it agreeable ; 
however, I shall lay before you a plain state of facts, 
with such remarks as will tend to illustrate them. 

When I was called to settle in the ministry in this 
place, the principal inducement I had to accept the call 
was the unanimity of the parish in their choice of me, 
w ch was a matter of great admiration, not only among 
yourselves, but among all the neighbouring people who 
were acquainted with you. So tender was I of preserv- 

* Besides preserving a great mass of papers and memoranda connected with his diffi- 
culties with the parish in Dover, Dr. Belknap drew up the full narrative which is here 
printed. We are not certain when it was drawn up; hut it was prohahly begun not long 
before he left Dover, and finished after his settlement in Boston. — Eds. 


ing this unanimity, that when it was suggested to me 
that what you offered me would be insufficient for the sup- 
port of a family without the addition of wood, I did not 
insist upon that addition while your other aged pastor 
was yet living, but in my answer, which is recorded in 
your book, mentioned it as a thing which I hoped you 
would consider at some future time, & only desired that 
what you had voted me might be paid at 2 payments, 
viz. one every six months, which you engaged to do, but 
this en^a^ement never was fulfilled. 

It was necessary at my settling among you that I 
should contract a large debt, for the purchase & fitting 
up of an house, the sum wh ch you gave me as a settle- 
ment being insufficient. Young & inexperienced as I 
then was, I hoped in a few years to be able to discharge 
this debt out of the savings which I might make from 
my annual income ; but after some years tryal I found my 
family expences so increased that the payment of the 
interest was all I could do, & this not without difficulty. 

In the third voar of the War, when the cur- 

. . 1777. 

rent money was depreciated, I tho't it necessary 
to apply to you for relief After several adjournments, 
& keeping me three months in suspence. you voted me 
twenty pounds, which when received was immediately 
applied toward discharging the interest of my debt. 

The next year when the money was much more de- 
preciated, at the motion of some of yourselves 177g 
a grant of sixty pounds was voted me. This Feb 23- 
being insufficient to make up the damage, & being at y e 
same time disagreeable to many of you, I did not accept, 
but asked you to consult with me upon some other 
method of helping me out of the then present difficul- 
ties, & of preventing the like in future. In consequence 
of this you reconsidered the grant, but paid no attention 
to my request. 

At your next annual meeting you did of your 
own accord appoint a committee of seven to March26 - 


collect voluntary subscriptions as a consideration for the 
depreciation of the year preceeding, who were to make 
report at y e adjournment. One of this committee col- 
lected a part of what was subscribed in his list & paid it 
to me. What the others did I never knew, nor did they 
jui 13 appear to make any report, at the adjournment, 
& so y e meeting was dissolved. 

The same summer you had another meeting 

July 20. \ . . ° 

on the same account, but dissolved it without 
doing anything. In the spring of 1779 I found you were 
again entering on the matter, & thought it proper to de- 
sire you not to do anything without consulting me ; accord- 
ingly, having drawn up a proposal to have my salary 
stated annually according to the prices of the principal 
necessaries of life, I communicated it to your committee, 
who approved it as equitable & practicable & reported it 
to you ; but instead of adopting it, you threw it by & voted 
me what you affected to call a 'present of <£400, which as 
the depreciation then stood at twelve for one 
177a was about one third part of one year's salary. 

This £400 I could not view in any other light than as 
a 'partial compensation for the damage I had sustained 
by former depreciation ; yet so desirous was I of doing 
justice to those individuals who had all along paid the 
full value of their proportion of the parish taxes, that I 
took off their several parts of the tax that was laid to 
collect this £400. 

In the fall of the same year I put you in mind of the 
plan w r hich you had neglected, & that you had made no 
October ii P rov i s i° n a t all f° r that year. After several ad- 
1779. journments, as usual on all such occasions, you 
voted £1,400 as an addition to my salary for that year. 
This at the time it was voted was according to the scale 
equal to nearly three quarters of my salary, but before it 
was all paid was not equal to one fifth. 

In the spring of 1780 you fixed my living for that 
year on the price of corn, the plentiest & cheapest article 


then in the country, & it continued so during the whole 
year. There was more appearance of equity in this than 
in any of the preceeding transactions, but as things were 
circumstanced I was a considerable loser. For the corn 
rate & the £1,400 rate were both collected at the same 
time by two different persons, & there was annexed to 
the £1,400 list another distinct sum for the other parish 
charges, all which together formed a scene of perplexity 
& confusion. 

I had as usual taken off from the depreciation list 
those persons' rates who had paid me the full value ac- 
cording to what was called " the old way," but this- did 
not satisfy many of them unless I w T ould also take off 
their part of the other parish charges, which in reality I 
had nothing to do with. Influenced, however, by a love 
of peace, & ready to sacrifice my own interest to pro- 
mote it, I consented, & at the same time, to ease the col- 
lector, I took off some persons' rates who had partly paid 
me, & some who had promised to pay me ; & by their 
failure I suffered another loss. By means of the receipts 
which in this manner I had given to the collector _ u 

O March, 

it appeared at the time of settling the yearly 178L 
accounts that I had given receipts for more than you had 
voted me, though this overplus was far short of what I 
had lost by your not voting enough. There was at the 
same time something due to me upon the corn list, & 
here arose a difficulty. Had a proper settlement been 
made for the arrears of the three past years I was as- 
sured that something very considerable would have been 
due to me ; but there was no disposition in the parish to 
make such a settlement ; there was no law to oblige you 
to do it ; there was no scale of depreciation then estab- 
lished ; & there was no way left to settle the accounts 
at that time & preserve peace but for me to sacrifice my 
interest. Desirous of preventing a dispute, I gave a re- 
ceipt in full, & at the time of subscribing it declared to 


the Wardens that I did it only for the sake of peace. This 
was in the spring of 1781, & as the paper money was 
then going out of circulation I determined that I would 
make a fair experiment that year how far my salary 
would go toward the support of my family, and at the 
close of y e year found it to fall short about one fifth. I 
also found myself considerably in arrears for the interest 
of my long standing debt. 

Before I proceed I shall make 2 or 3 observations on 
this part of my narrative. (1.) By reason of the many 
applications which have been made to the parish on my 
account in these times, the many delays, adjournments, 
reconsiderations, & proposals of one kind & another, the 
affair of my support grew to be a fruitful subject of de- 
bate, altercation, & uneasiness, & was rendered much 
more burdensome to many of you than there was any 
just reason for. (2.) It appears that I used the most 
proper means that were in my power to prevent this evil 
by repeatedly & constantly desiring you to fix my salary 
in such a manner as that it might not be subject to such 
continual votes. I was early aware of the danger of such 
a matter being handled in popular meetings. I had been 
acquainted with the ill effect of such things in other 
places, & would have guarded against it here, but every 
attempt which I made was constantly evaded k, frustrated. 
(3.) During all this time I was in a great measure hin- 
dered from that part of business which is usually ex- 
pected of ministers, viz. visiting, & the causes of my 
hindrance were these : the necessary attention, care, & 
labour which I was obliged to bestow in support of my 
family ; the want of a convenient pasture for my horse, 
having been obliged to put him for several years at two 
& three miles distance ; & the very great & shameful 
neglect of this town in providing schools, so that I have 
been obliged to spend great part of my time (but not so 
much as I ought to have spent) in the instruction of my 


children. This I know is regarded by many of you as 
a thing of little or no consequence, but it appears in a 
very different light to me. By these & other causes I 
have been hindered in a great measure from hearing & 
removing in the proper season those difficulties, misappre- 
hensions, & mistakes which have arisen in the minds of 
the people on account of the very intricate manner in 
which parish business has been transacted, which few or 
none but those immediately concerned ever understood ; 
and thus the indifference which many of this people 
always had toward religion & the Gospel ministry has 
been strengthened & increased till it has risen to dis- 

Now to proceed. When, at the beginning of 
the present year, I found myself in the situation 
before mentioned, I was fully convinced of the necessity 
of some speedy & vigorous exertions to remedy the evils 
which I felt. I considered that Providence had placed 
me at the head of a family which required much atten- 
tion & expence ; I considered also the income w ch I re- 
ceive of you as insufficient, though managed with the 
utmost frugality w ch I am capable of; I considered also 
my large debt, the interest of which I had not been able 
to keep down, & the impossibility of discharging it if a 
demand should be made upon me, without selling my 
house & turning my family out of doors. I mentioned 
these difficulties to one & another of you in y e course of 
conversation, as I had frequently done for years before, 
but I could find no prospect of relief. I was convinced 
that it was not right to sit still & see my affairs go back- 
ward without endeavouring to help myself, but what 
could I do ? To apply to the Parish for help was a very 
undesirable method. I knew from what I had heard & 
observed that such applications are always a fruitful sub- 
ject of dispute & trouble. I was fully aware that it 
would produce a great variety of enquiries, surmises, 


jealousies, suspicions, reports, reflections, & reproaches, 
all which I wished to avoid, & I had no reason to hope 
from the manner in which parish matters had been con- 
ducted that such an application would be attended with 

In this perplexity I applied to some judicious friends 
for their advice, & after further revolving the matter in 
my own mind I was persuaded that it was my duty to 
lay my case before the parish for their consideration. 
My principal reason for coming to this conclusion was, 
that, if I did not do this before I took any other method 
for relief, it might be said that I did not deal fairly by 
you, & did not give you an opportunity of relieving me 
& retaining me in your service. I therefore resolved 
that I would make the tryal. I knew there was a risque 
to be run ; but I thought my situation was such as to 
justify a risque. However, I determined previously to 
sound the disposition of the parish by a request that they 
would provide a pasture for my horse, & I soon found that 
this was a favour too great to be granted me, though (as 
usual) I was kept two months in suspense before I could 
get any ansiver to my request. Under all these discour- 
agements I made a representation of my circumstances 
to you in general terms, which was regularly brought be- 
fore you at the parish meeting in June last ; & to this I 
added my opinion of what would be the consequence of 
a refusal on your part to attend to it, viz. my removal from 
you. The reason of my adding this was, that, if I had 
barely proposed the matter to your consideration without 
this, I was persuaded from my former experience that no 
notice would have been taken of it. 

When your committee came to talk with me on the 
matter, I opened & explained the whole of it to them, 
much in the same manner that I have now done to you. 
I told them everything, & kept back nothing which I 
could judge proper for them to know in order to their 


forming a just idea of my circumstances, & I proved 
many things which I said by an appeal to your own 
records, & to the persons who had been immediately con- 
cerned in transacting the parish business. 

It has been said that your committee could get no satis- 
faction from me. The foundation of the report, I sup- 
pose, is this. There were some questions asked which I 
did not answer in the manner w cb they expected ; but I 
had my reasons for it. I was asked whether I would 
rather leave you than stay with you? To this I objected 
as a very improper question, because the matter was not 
to be determined by choice, but by necessity. I was always 
ready to obey what appeared to be the call of Providence. 
I was governed by this consideration in settling with you, 
& I think it my duty to submit to it on all occasions. 
Another question was, What would I take to make me 
easy ? which induced me to ask in my turn, Whether the 
parish were willing to do anything to make me easy ? . To 
this I could not obtain one word by way of answer. They 
could not say that there was any appearance of a dis- 
position in the Parish to do anything for my relief. It 
was at the same time my opinion, that if any proposals 
were to be made they should come from you & not from 
me. What report this committee made, you doubtless 
know better than I, but it seems that the meeting was 
dissolved without anything done or even proposed to be 

This is, according to the best of my judgment, a fair 
account of the whole matter. I was induced to lay this 
before the whole Parish in this way, to clear up the mis- 
representations which have been made among yourselves, 
& to give you all a full account of my views & designs in 
this movement, which I should never have made had I 
not been driven to it by necessity. 

I could add a great deal more to clear myself & my 
family of the groundless surmises which have been in- 


vented on this occasion ; but having fairly & truly rep- 
resented the matter, I shall rest it with you for the 
present, after observing that I have been bro't into 
these difficulties wholly on your account. It was for your 
sake that I submitted to such a life of dependence ; for 
your sake I have foregone the advantages of a temporal 
nature which other men of my years have enjoyed, & 
which I might have enjoyed in some other station, to ac- 
quire the means of living independently. Your unanimity 
and your earnest desire of my settling among you were 
the principal inducements which I had to comply with 
your request. If this unanimity is destroyed, the ground 
on which I stood is removed. I have lived among you 
about sixteen years, & in that time I hope I have been 
the means of doing some good ; I wish it had been more. 
I know I have many errors & failings to be humbled for, 
but I am not sensible that I have injured any person but 
myself. I know I am deficient in some qualities which 
are necessary to render a minister popular in such a place 
as this, & I know it is not in my power to remedy that 
defect. However, you have known & proved me, & I 
have known & proved you. I have made as few com- 
plaints as possible, & always with extreme reluctance ; but 
my mind has many a time been strongly agitated, thrown 
out of its due byass, & unfitted for its proper exercise, by 
thinking on the difficulties of my situation. Nevertheless, 
as Providence has placed me here, I tho't it my duty to 
give you this account of my difficulties, that you may 
have another opportunity of removing them. I am very 
loth to be a burden or a bone of contention to you ; but 
no judicious person can think it possible for me to live in 
character among you without some effectual help. If 
you think proper to attend to this any farther, I only 
desire that you would deal with me openly & fairly, & 
without delay, & that you would let me know whether you 
mean to afford me any assistance, either publickly or 


privately. But if you should pay no regard to what I 
have now said, you will reduce me to the very painful 
necessity of laying the whole affair before an Ecclesiastical 

The foregoing address induced the Parish to 

© © August 19, 

appoint another meeting, & on the 19 th of the lm 
same month they voted " to pay the deficiency of my 
" salary occasioned by the fluctuating situation of the 
" paper currency, if any should be found by a committee 
" chosen for the purpose of examining into that matter 
" by the scale of depreciation." The said committee 
were also authorised to request me " to certify to them 
"what farther provision was necessary to be made for 
"my support." Upon their application I reminded them 
of the old claim which I had upon them for wood, & also 
of my late request for pasturing. On the 2 d of 
September the committee reported, that, " after 
" a careful examination into the payments which I had 
" received from time to time they did find according to 
"the scale of depreciation the sum of £112.7.10^ L. M. 
"due to me to make up my due to the present time, 

£38. 8. 


63. 5. 




112. 7. 


" For the year .... 1777 

" For the year .... 1778 
'• For the year .... 1779 

This report the Parish accepted, & at the same time 
voted to raise £12 annually for purchasing wood for my 
use.t When the Wardens (with others) came to give me 
their obligation for the payment of the sum voted, I put 

* The original manuscript of this address, partly in short hand, and with numerous 
interlineations and erasures, is also among the Belknap Papers. It is indorsed by Dr. 
Belknap, "Public Address to the Parish, Aug. 4, 1782." —Ens. 

t No notice was taken of the request for pasture. — Note by Dr. Belknap. 


them in mind, that if each of the before-mentioned sums 
were due for the deficiency of the three years named, 
there was also interest due on each to the present time, 
which amounted to above £23. To this they paid no 
regard, but gave me a note for £112.7.10, according to 
the vote. They however repeated what I had before 
heard, that there was a design to raise one hundred dollars 
by subscription to be added to the £112 to help me out 
of all my debts & difficulties. The report of this sub- 
scription was circulated through the neighbouring towns, 
& it was believed in some of them that the money was 
raised & paid to me. But in fact the subscription never ex- 
isted even on paper. It was a mere report, calculated to 
make them appear generous; but I am persuaded was 
never really intended by the propagators of it, though 
some honest people in the parish were deceived into a 
belief that such a thing would have been set forward. 

With my £112 note & my additional £12 per annum 
I endeavoured to make myself contented, & had the former 
been paid according to promise, as it might easily have 
been, (for hard money was plenty that & the two follow- 
ing years,) the world would never have been disturbed 
with any farther talk of complaints on my part. But 
during that period no part of it was paid excepting that 
about £30 of it was discounted by one of the collectors, 
who received a note of mine due to a person in this town, 
& gave his obligation to that person. 

In the spring of the year 1784, 1 received an intimation 
from the administrator of the estate of one of my de- 
ceased creditors that a payment of what was due from 
me would be desirable. As I saw no prospect of receiv- 
ing my money of the Parish, & was apprehensive that I 
had more difficulty still to go through to obtain the pay- 
ment, & being loth to go to law with them, I proposed to 
my creditor to make over the Parish note to him, which 
proposal he accepted, & had the patience & politeness 


to wait on the Parish one whole year, receiving verbal or 
written promises from time to time, & being as often dis- 
appointed, until, finding that there was no prospect of 
payment, the note was put in suit in his name in the spring 
of 1785, though by an agreement between him & me I was 
to have the whole management of the affair under cover 
of his name. This was done purely out of delicacy, that 
the Parish might not have the discredit of being sued by 
their minister; & had they taken care to pay the debt 
during the time that the suit was pending, it never would 
have been known that I had any concern in the process. 

The suit was commenced at the Inferior Court in June, 
1785, & by the appeal of the defendants carried to the 
Superior Court in September following, when judgment 
was given against the Parish for <£85.10.5 damages, & 
<£4.12 costs. Execution was issued, & though, as I have 
been informed, it might have been levied on the estates of 
all the three men who signed the note, yet it was actually 
levied on the body of one of them only. 

As no care was taken by those now in office to free this 
man from the apprehension of imprisonment by dischar- 
ging the debt, he became uneasy as the time approached 
for the return of the execution, which was the second 
week in April, 1786. About the middle of March I con- 
versed with him, & found that it had been suggested to 
him that, if he would suffer himself to be imprisoned, the 
Parish Wardens would be his bondsmen for the liberty of 
the yard, & he might make his escape. The same infor- 
mation I also received from the High Sheriff, upon w ch I 
wrote to the Parish Wardens as follows : — 

"March 15, 1786. 

" Gent n , — You may remember the very great difficulty with 
which in the year 1782 I obtained of the parish a promissory 
note for the payment of the arrears of my salary occasioned by 
the depreciation of the paper currency. To satisfy the demand 
of a creditor I made over that note to him, who, after generously 



waiting on you for a whole year, was obliged to put it in suit. 
Since which you have taken advantage of all the delay which 
the forms of law could allow, & by what I can learn no provision 
is yet made to satisfy the debt, but the execution has been 
levied on the body of an innocent man who happened to be in 
office when the note was given, & in a few weeks is to be im- 
prisoned. Such an issue to this affair will be very far from sat- 
isfying my creditor, or answering the end proposed by me in 
making over the note to him. The character in which I reside 
among you obliges me to act with a peculiar delicacy, & to be 
very explicit with you on this occasion, & I now tell you that if 
it is intended that the person who is taken should be actually 
imprisoned, & kept from his family & business, my feelings will 
be greatly injured ; but if only a sham imprisonment is intended, 
& the bondsmen for the liberty of the yard are to be responsible 
for the debt after another process, I shall conceive that I am 
grosly insulted. In either case, my comfort & usefulness will 
be much interrupted. To prevent as far as lies in my power 
these evils, I now make you this offer : that in case you will pay 
the law charges, I will do my utmost to prevail with my creditor 
to remit to you the whole debt, & will find some other way of 
satisfying his demand. I say nothing at present of other debts 
due to me from this parish, but I desire an answer to this re- 
quest, whether you or the body you represent will accept this 
proposal or not before the next session of the Superior Court. 

"J. B." 

This letter I suppose was the means of putting a stop 
to the intended sham imprisonment & escape, which if it 
had been put in execution would have reflected the high- 
est disgrace on the Parish; but now the disgrace must 
rest only on the contrivers of it, & the Parish have reason 
to thank me for delivering them from the reproach that 
would otherwise have been cast upon them. 

After this it was proposed to me to take lumber instead 
of cash for the discbarge of the execution. This proposal 
was not made till about three weeks before the execution 
was returnable ; but it was no sooner made than accepted, 
provided the lumber could be ready by the time, and 


delivered at the market price. It must be observed here, 
that lumber was at this time very dull of sale, & there 
was plenty of it on the landing. Upon enquiry I found 
it would not be safe for me to allow more than thirty 
shillings per thousand. The Parish Wardens strove hard 
to persuade me to allow thirty-six shillings, & to renew 
the execution & wait till y e next Term, which would be in 
September. Having taken advice of the most judicious 
merchants in Portsmouth I could not accede to the former, 
& having had so long experience of the dilatory & evasive 
proceedings of this people I could not agree to the latter, 
seeing I had waited already four years, & they had taken 
every advantage to delay payment, & Providence had 
now put it in my power to bring this long depending 
matter to an issue. Some efforts were made by the col- 
lectors to get lumber, & some was obtained ; but it must 
be remembered that by this time another debt had accu- 
mulated, which had been due, some of it, more than a 
year. On the first day of the sitting of the Court in 
April, viz. Tuesday, the 18 th , the High Sheriff sent for his 
prisoner & for me. On conference with them & the gen- 
tlemen of the law, I found that the days of the Court's 
sitting were days of grace, & consented that the prisoner 
should be at liberty till Friday. On this same day, Tues- 
day, I was told by two of the Wardens seperately that it 
would be paid by Thursday. On Thursday I enquired of 
the surveyor whom they had employed to receive the 
lumber, who informed me that he had only fifteen thous d , 
which did not amount to one third. The same day the 
Parish had a meeting, & two of these Wardens resigned their 
office. On Friday the prisoner appeared to deliver him- 
self up, &, as I had previously given him my word that 
he should not go to prison, there was no way left to pre- 
vent it but by my signing a receipt on the back of the 
execution, & it was returned into Court satisfied, my- 
self being responsible for the costs, which I have since 


paid. Thus my interest was sacrificed to the cause of 

Finding all my efforts to recover my due fruitless, hav- 
ing been treated in this evasive manner by a people who 
had laid themselves under obligations to make this pay- 
ment with an express view to prevent my removal from 
them, wdiich I had just reason for four or seven years be- 
fore, I considered with astonishment & horror their cruel 
neglect, unpalliated by any pretence of misconduct on my 
part, I considered that to remain connected with them 
would be in a high degree dishonourable to me, & that I 
must become an object of contempt even in their eyes, 
I considered the contract between me & them as broken 
on their part by the most deliberate neglect & delin- 
quency, & therefore determined to give it up on my part. 
Accordingly, on the Lord's day, April 30 th , I delivered 
from the pulpit the following address : — 

" It is now about four years since, with much difficulty, I 
obtained of this Parish a promissory note for the payment of the 
arrears due to me by the depreciation of the late paper currency. 
From the manner in w ch the parish business was conducted, I 
was soon after led to conclude that this promise would not 
be performed without more difficulty. After repeated demands 
had been made & neglected, it was put in suit, & in a manner 
least liable to exception, not in my own name, but in the name 
of one of my creditors whose long forbearance deserved a better 
return. While the suit was depending, the Parish had the ben- 
efit of every delay which the forms of law could allow, & I 
suppose no body will doubt their ability to have satisfied the 
demand long ago. But instead of receiving any satisfaction, I 
have had the mortification to find that my endeavours, were 
obstructed, and the interest of the Parish was considered as a 
thing distinct from that of the minister. After waiting the 
tedious process, after making every concession that was at all 
likely to facilitate the payment, & extending the time to the 
last extremity, no alternative was left me but to see an innocent 
man imprisoned or give up the debt. I chose the latter, & I 
glory in the choice. 


" I know there is a number of persons here who have readily 
paid their full proportion of all the taxes that have been made, 
& who are always willing to do their part toward the support 
of the Gospel ministry. Had the Parish consisted wholly. of 
this sort of persons, I should not have been reduced to this 
extremity. The law indeed authorises the use of force to 
compel those who are delinquent to do their duty, but the 
execution of such laws tends to defeat the design for which 
the Gospel is preached, to promote discord, hatred, & envy, 
instead of love, peace, & goodwill, & to involve a minister in 
distress & perplexity, if he has any feeling. I am in principle 
opposed to the use of compulsion for ministerial taxes, & what 
experience the past scene afforded has so confirmed me against 
it that I had rather sacrifice my connexion with the Parish than 
continue it by such means. 

" The late issue of my attempt to recover my just due did 
not come unexpected. I had long foreseen it & was not at all 
disappointed. It cannot therefore be thought that what I am 
now going to say is the effect of any hasty resolution. It is the 
result of much patient & prayerful deliberation. 

u To prevent any future difficulties of the like kind, relying 
on the protection & blessing of a kind Providence, & trusting 
that I am in the way of my duty, I do now seriously & deliber- 
ately resign, release, & quitclaim to the First Parish in Dover 
all right & title to any salary which might after this day become 
due to me by virtue of any contract heretofore made between 
me & them, or any engagement from them to me. I would be 
understood to do this in so full & explicit a manner as that 
neither myself, my heirs, nor any person claiming from, by, 
or under me shall be able to recover any such salary as might 
otherwise become due after this day ; and if it be necessary that 
I should subscribe any instrument whereby this resignation can 
be made more solemn and authentic, I am ready to do it. 

" The consequence of this will be that in future my connexion 
with this parish will be altogether voluntary, & may be dis- 
solved at the pleasure of either party, or if continued will be 
upon a different footing from what it has been heretofore." 

Having come to this important stage in my affairs, I 
would make some remarks. Had I been influenced solely 


by a regard to my own interest, & not by a tenderness for 
my people, at least for some worthy characters .among 
them, my conduct would have been in some respects 
widely different. It was from a benevolent regard to 
them, that, when driven to the necessity of going to law, I 
did not commence the suit in my own name, but at the 
same time kept the management of the affair in my own 
hands, making myself liable to pay the costs. The same 
motive operated in my persuading the person on whom 
the execution was levied to abandon the ivicked plot which 
was contrived to evade the law ; had this been executed, 
I might have had the fairest plea for a full & absolute 
resignation of my office, & might have recovered larger 
damages in a new action. The same principle urged me 
to accept at once the proposal which was made of re- 
ceiving lumber instead of cash. Had this been fairly & 
honestly attended to in the proper season the difficulty 
might have been stopt, but it was so managed as to 
oblige me to give up the debt. When I gave up my 
salary, had I regarded only my own interest, I should 
have made the resignation of my office absolute & with- 
out reserve, & have taken my final leave of them at that 
time ; but I knew how harsh it would sound in the ears 
of some valuable persons, & how sorely it would grieve 
their hearts if I did not leave open a door of hope for 
them, tho' it has since proved an occasion of perplexity 
& misery to myself. This seeming irresolution on my 
part may to some people appear to have proceeded from 
motives of pusilanimity, but I seriously declare that it 
has proceeded from a tenderness of conscience & a regard 
to those whom I deemed the friends of religion, of whom 
I wish I could think the number was greater. 

After the resignation, on the 30 th of April, I was absent 
for a month, during which time the Parish met & passed 
the following votes, viz. : " May 22 d , That the Parish 


Wardens be & hereby are authorised & impowered to raise 
money in the best manner they can, & therewith discharge 
the execution of Col. Waters against the Parish in as 
speedy a manner as may be, the Rev d M r Belknap's re- 
ceipt thereon & discharge of the same notwithstanding"; 
& on the 5 th of June they " Voted, that a committee be 
chosen to converse with the Rev d M r Belknap relative to 
the difficulties subsisting between him & the Parish, & that 
they make report at the adjournment." By my desire, 
this conference was in writing, as follows : — 

" Sir, — The committee appointed by the Parish at their late 
meeting to converse with you on the subject named in their 
vote, acknowledge the communication of a letter addressed 
to M r Cooper pointing out a mode of conference different from 
the one expected, to which, however, the committee have not 
an objection ; only wishing that the good intention of their 
appointment may have the merited success. As the first & in- 
deed the only proper step to be taken on the part of the com- 
mittee, they are very desirous of being informed by M r Belknap 
whether he really conceives the contract between him & the 
Parish is dissolved, & if that be his opinion, whether he 
will enter into a new one, provided suitable provision be J n 8 e 6 ! 5, 
made by the Parish for a future handsome support." 

To w ch I answered : — 

" Gent n , — In my address to the Parish on the 30 th of April 
last, I gave it as my opinion that the consequence of the res- 
ignation of my claim to any future salary would be that my 
connexion with them might be dissolved at the pleasure of 
either party. As you now desire to know whether I conceive 
that it is dissolved, I answer that I do, & I desire to know 
in my turn whether you have any doubt on the subject? If 
you have, please to state the ground of your doubt & let me 
have it as soon as you can ; but if I receive no communication 
from you, I shall conclude you have none, & shall answer your 
other question with my reasons at large, so as you may have 
them by Saturday next, in order to frame your report on 


They replied as follows : — 

" Sir, — The committee, in reply to M r Belknap's answer, 
beg leave to assure him that they have no doubts remaining 
on their minds respecting the present validity of the contract 
between him & the Parish, being fully convinced from reason 
that a contract entered by the joint consent of two parties can- 
not legally be dissolved but by their mutual consent & appro- 
bation, or by some jurisdiction competent for the purpose." 

To this I rejoined thus : — 

" The reply made by the committee to my answer to their 
first question removes the ground of their second ; for if the 
old contract still remains in force, there can be no reason for 
4 entering into a new one.' My opinion, however, remains un- 
changed, because my reason teaches me that a contract unper- 
formed on one part & given up on the other is really dissolved. 
However, that nothing may be wanting to make the dissolution 
complete, I have this day handed to the Wardens a request 
which will supersede any farther conference on this point." 

The request was as follows : — 

44 Gent n , — There being a difference in opinion between the 
Parish committee & me relative to the present subsistence of 
the contract on w cb my ministerial relation to this Parish w r as 
founded, as will appear by their report to be made at your 
adjourned meeting next Monday, & I being desirous to avoid 
all prolixity & controversj*, & to bring the matter to a speedy 
issue, do request you to notify a meeting of the Parish to be 
held as soon as law & custom will allow, that they may on their 
part by an explicit & formal act, in compliance with my desire, 
which I apprehend will be a sufficient reason therefor, dissolve 
the contract which is now supposed to subsist, or join with me 
in chusing and calling an Ecclesiastical Council, to whom the 
question concerning the validity of the contract or the pro- 
priety of dissolving it may be submitted for their 
opinion & advice." 

In consequence of this request, a Parish meeting was 
held on the 3 d of July, & the following was handed to me 
as the result of it, viz. : — 


" After debating the matter whereon the meeting was founded, 
it was moved & seconded whether the Parish would comply 
with the request of M r Belknap, which passed in the negative. 
Then moved & seconded to dissolve the meeting, which passed 
into a vote, & it was dissolved accordingly." 

The same week, I received an invitation to preach at 
the Second Parish in Exeter, which I declined accepting 
at this time. 

On the next Sabbath, viz. July 9, I requested the 
Church to meet on the next Tuesday to vote me a dis- 
mission from my pastoral relation to them. They met, & 
after hearing my request gave me the following answer 
in writing, viz. : — 

" We are of opinion that we ought not to grant his request 
without first consulting the Parish, because they had a voice in 
calling & settling him, & we will endeavour to have a Parish 
meeting called as soon as may be, & will use our influence 
with the Parish, either to grant M r Belknap a release from 
the contract, or to join in a mutual Council for 
advice, &c. 

The next week I laid the whole affair before the Asso- 
ciation of Ministers of which I am a member, who ad- 
vised me to wait over two Sabbaths, & if nothing decisive 
should be done by that time, to withdraw my ministra- 
tions from this people, & accept an invitation elsewhere 
if any such should be given me. 

The Church had now, in consequence of their promise, 
procured the appointment of another Parish meeting, to 
be held on Thursday, July 27, the design of which, accord- 
ing to their answer to me, was to dissolve the contract, or 
join with me in a mutual Council. No effort had as yet 
been made to procure the money to pay what was due to 
me on y e execution or the other account, & it had been 
supposed & taken for granted that no money could be 
raised, nor even a tax laid for this present year, because I 
had given up my salary. But all at once, by the sugges- 


tion of some person not belonging to the town, a question 
was proposed to me, What if we should pay you these 
debts, will you stay with us? My answer was to this 
purpose : that the payment of these debts ought to have 
been the preface to every other transaction; that in case 
of payment I should deal as well by them as they had 
done by me; & should do whatever should appear to be 
my duty. It was now found that a rate could be made ; 
it teas made, & about £18 collected, which I received 
on Saturday, July 22 d , as part, & took a note for £16 
more which when paid will be in full of the arrears of my 
salary to the 30 th of April last. At the same time the 
Wardens declared to me the impossibility of their getting 
the money to pay y e execution, and said, " If that was 
necessary, we must part." I now gave it up in my own 
mind as desperate. Nevertheless, on the next Wednes- 
day, I was informed that a considerable part of that sum 
had been borrowed & w 7 as ready for me. I answered, 
that as the matter had gone so far, & a meeting was 
to be held the next day, I chose the money should re- 
main in their hands till the old contract was dissolved, 
& till I could determine whether to make a new one or 
not. The next clay, viz. Sep r 27, the following vote was 
passed, viz. : — 

" In compliance with the desire of the Rev d M r Belknap, 

voted that the contract between him & the First Parish in 
Dover be dissolved. 

"Attest, Nath l Cooper, Clerk." 

They now expected me to make a proposal to them for 
a new contract. This was an event for which I was by 
no means prepared, if I had thought it proper, as the 
notice of the money being obtained was given me but 
the day before, previous to which my mind had been 
turned the other way by the information given me on the 
preceeding Saturday. But I tho't it not at all proper that 


a proposal should be expected of me ; it ought rather to 
come from them. Besides, I foresaw a very great difficulty 
attending the making a contract, such an one as would 
remedy the inconveniencies which I had experienced 
under the former. This difficulty appeared so great, 
considering my own scruples & their usual mode of con- 
duct, that I conceived it a thing impracticable. To con- 
tract with the Parish at large, as before, I could not; 
how to make a distinction between those with whom I was 
willing to contract & the others, I knew not; whether 
the former would be willing a line should be drawn was 
very uncertain. Besides, I considered this borrowing of 
the money as not freeing them from the debt, nor me from 
the inconvenience of their being indebted to others as 
well as myself; because they would have to pay this 
money out of what would be raised for my support, k 
then would fall short in their future payments to me, & 
thus reduce me to the very situation out of which it was 
the professed design of this movement to extricate me. 
I had had experience of this kind before, by their taking 
the money that was raised & collected expressly for me 
to pay an execution which the heirs of my predecessor 
had recovered against them, & as they were now This was 15 

i l • i • n • n years after 

so far behind in the collection of their resources his death - 
I knew it would be hard fetching it up, & I must suffer 
by it. Under the influence of these & other consider- 
ations, I wrote them the following letter, viz* : — 

u Gent n , — You have been desirous to know my mind with 
regard to the continuance of my ministry among you, & I did 
not think it proper to say anything explicitly to you on the 
subject till you had on your part acknowledged the dissolu- 
tion of the contract which I had given up. By doing this, you 
have put yourselves on a level with me. You are a vacant 
parish, & I am a candidate for the ministry. I shall now give 
you my sentiments freely. 

" The time has been when I preferred this Parish to many of 
those which I was acquainted with, as I had reason to think the 


people were united in their affection to me, & supported me 
cheerfully, & my ministry was generally useful & acceptable 
to them. For some years past I have had reason to believe that 
my support has been a burden to many, & I cannot but perceive 
that my ministry is neglected more £ more by a great part of 
those who have been bound to support me. This affords a very 
discouraging prospect. 

" Had there been that affection for me among the people in 
general which I have been told so much of, I cannot imagine 
that the payment of this debt would have been so long ne- 
glected, & that you would have driven me to the necessity of 
putting your note in suit, & then delayed satisfying it until, to 
prevent the imprisonment of an innocent man, I was obliged to 
give up my demand & seek a seperation as my only remedy. 
It now fully appears that it was not for want of ability in the 
Parish that this money was not paid before. If an affection for 
me is the reason that a considerable part of it is now obtained, 
why could not that principle have operated sooner, & prevented 
the miseries to which I have been reduced, & which have been 
as great as if you had had no affection for me ? To make me 
suffer all the inconveniencies & distresses which can arise from 
the failure of affection before your affection can shew itself, to 
reduce me to the last extremity before you will lend an helping 
hand to deliver me, is such a way of shewing love as I wish 
never to experience again. You cannot but think that treat- 
ment of this kind, which both you & I know to be undeserved 
on my part, must have altered my mind & destroyed that pref- 
erence which I once had for this people. Many other circum- 
stances have concurred to the same purpose, & I must now say 
that, considering all things together, I see no reason to think it 
my duty to enter into any new engagement with this Parish in 
preference to any other. 

" My objection is not founded merely on the non-payment 
for so long a time of the debt which you acknowledged to be 
justly due to me, but also on the practice of obliging all persons 
who are not of some other religious persuasion to contribute 
toward the support of your minister, by which means, instead 
of depending on the voluntary exertions of the friends of re- 
ligion & good order, he is thrown into the hands of unprincipled, 
profane, & vicious people, who, having no religion themselves, 
feci no obligation or desire to assist or relieve him, but think 


their parish tax a burden, & account the minister their enemy 
& load him with reproaches for receiving it of them. To be 
obliged to maintain a connection with such people as these is to 
me the' vilest slavery, & being once free from it I am determined 
not to submit to it again. 

" I have other objections, but it would be needless to men- 
tion them, as I am persuaded it is not in your power to remove 
them. However, considering the exertions which some of you 
have made, you have in some measure retrieved your character 
as a parish, & you will have no reason to repent of making 
them, as it may facilitate the settlement of a minister among 
you, & I think it very probable that you may get one whose 
talents will be more popular, & whose scruples & difficulties 
will not be so great as mine. If you chuse to seek for one, I 
will lend you any assistance in my power, & do now freely give 
you what money has been collected toward paying the execu- 
tion to help forward the settlement of one among you. 

" At the same time, I acknowledge there are some persons 
among you whom I value & respect kfrom ivhom I should not wish 
to be seperated, if they were not by the constitution of the Parish 
blended with a number of others with whom I cannot have any 
connection. To break up the Parish is not my wish. It is my 
advice to you to take proper measures to provide yourselves 
a minister, & to make some provision for a temporary supply 
till you can obtain one." 

One design of this letter was to let the Parish know 
that I did not wish to force myself upon them, but to 
give them their choice to get another minister, & had 
they signified to me that this was their wish I should 
have complied with the offer I made them ; another de- 
sign was to draw from those who had professed a friend- 
ship for me some proposal toward a re-settlement if they 
were so disposed. One or other of these consequences 
I expected, but was disappointed in both ; for they 
neither made any proposal nor accepted my offer, but 
passed a vote which I never saw, but which I understood 
was to be tacked as an appendix to the vote of dissolving 
the contract, to this purpose, viz. : " that if I went away I 


should refund the sum of £150, which I received of the 
Parish at my first settlement.' 1 

The next morning I was called upon privately to ex- 
plain the latter part of my letter, which I did before I 
knew of this last vote. After some conference, I con- 
sented to receive a letter of acknowledgment, which the 
next day was presented to me, & is as follows, viz fc : — 

" Sir, — We are sorry that matters have been so managed as 
that the payment of the debt long due has been delayed so long 
as to reduce you to the necessity of asking a dismission as your 
only remedy. We regret that your letter of yesterday ad- 
dressed to the Parish was by some of us misconstrued, & that 
an hasty vote was passed in consequence of it, which we wish 
may not operate to our disadvantage, & will endeavour to have 
destroyed without being recorded. We wish 3^0 u to consider 
us as well affected to you, & wish your ministry may be con- 
tinued among us, provided you can be content to tarry with us 
on reasonable terms, and we will endeavour to form a plan 
which shall free you from the difficulties you complain of, & 
which shall be effectual for your future support. 

[Signed by 32 names.~\ 

"July 28, 17S6." 

To w ch I gave the following answer, viz. : — 

" Having seen a number of respectable names subscribed to 
the paper which D r Green now has, signifjing their sorrow for 
the long delay of the payment of my due, & understanding by 
several persons that what I wrote to the Parish was not deemed 
sufficiently explicit, I now say in explanation & addition : — 

" That what I said respecting my regard to a number of 
people in this parish was, in my opinion, a sufficient ground for 
those who were desirous of my continuance to step forward & 
make proposals to me ; & this I thought might have been the 
consequence, if they r could think it proper for them so to do 
without breaking up the Parish. I was in doubt whether they 
could think so or not, & left them to determine. Such w T as my 
idea, but I had the misfortune to be misunderstood. 

" It is not my wish to take any advantage of the infirmities 


of my neighbours. • I myself also am a man of like passions 
with themselves.' I wish to forgive all the injurious treatment 
I have received, & desire no more persons to sign the above 
paper, unless they chuse to do it as an introduction to an ac- 
commodation. As a farther inducement to which, I now say 
that though I look upon myself as disengaged from this Par- 
ish, & have had & might have invitations to others, yet if the 
Parish chuse to call another meeting & retract what they last 
voted, & if those who are desirous of my continuance will make 
offers of a re-settlement to me on such terms as shall be mutu- 
ally agreed on, I will keep myself disengaged till the first week 
in September next, & will in the mean time cooperate with them 
in such measures as shall be to our mutual advantage. 

" But at the same time I must add, that if a majority of the 
Parish at another meeting choose to adhere to the vote last past 
in preference to accepting the condescention which I now offer, 
I will comply with the conditions therein mentioned, Jul 29 
& quit them wholly." 

The same day I received another invitation from the 
Second Parish in Exeter, w ch I declined accepting on 
account of the prospect which appeared of an accommo- 
dation here. 

In a few days after, I drew up the following paper by 
desire of the Parish Wardens & some others, w h I deliv- 
ered to them that they might make what use they tho't 
proper of it : — 

" Sketch of the Difficulties w ch subsisted under the former Con- 
tract, $ Remedies proposed. 

" 1 st Difficulty. The obliging all persons within the limits of 
the town to pay toward the support of the minister unless 
there was evidence of their being of another religious denom- 
ination different from the majority, & some of them scarcely 
able to pay their taxes. 

"Remedy. That none but those who voluntarily engage be 
held bound for the minister's support, & they to consider them- 
selves as. bound to him jointly, & to each other severally, for 
that purpose. 

" That additions be made to the original number, from time 


to time, of such persons as desire to enter their names, & none 

44 That if the minister shall at any time give in to the officers 
of the society a sealed paper, containing the name of any person 
whom he may wish to have left out of the tax, it shall be done, 
& no reasons demanded of him. 

44 That no person be a voter, in any matter relating to the 
minister, who does not pay a tax at the time the meeting is 

44 That every one be taxed in proportion to his rateable estate 
as in the inventor} 7 . 

" That when any person belonging to the society shall de- 
cease, the estate of the deceased shall continue bound as long 
as it shall remain undivided ; & after division the estate be- 
longing to the heirs, being minors, shall continue bound as 
before till they shall come of age. 

44 For the regular forming these voluntary contractors into a 
society, an act of incorporation may be necessary. This re- 
mains to be considered. Perhaps bonds may be sufficient. 

44 2 d Difficulty. The great inattention of the people in gen- 
eral, & sometimes of those who ought by their characters & 
interest to have most influence in parochial affairs, whereby it 
has happened that improper persons have been chosen to offices 
of trust, which offices it equally concerns ministers & people to 
have filled only with proper persons. 

" Remedy. That no person be chosen to any office, whether 
warden or collector, or by whatever other name called, without 
the consent of the minister. Perhaps a nomination list, pre- 
pared beforehand by him & the officers of the former year, may 
be a good expedient to prevent undue elections. 

44 3 d Difficulty. The want of punctuality in the payment of 
the minister's salary, & an apprehension generally prevailing 
that any kind of pay, at any time & any price, would be 

"Remedy. That the sum of £ be allowed the min- 
ister for every year, to be paid in gold coin at £5.6.8 p r oz., 
or in silver at 6/8 per oz., & in no other species of pay 

44 That a weekly contribution be established on the Lord's 
day, every person who pays a tax to mark his name on a paper 
inclosing his money, for which he shall have credit given him 


by the person through whose hands it shall pass to the minister. 
All unmarked money to be considered as a free gift to y e 

" That a complete settlement & payment be made at the end 

of every six months, to begin the day of next, & 

all arrears previously due to be fully paid before the contract 
shall take place. 

" 4 th Difficulty. The fluctuating & uncertain value of paper 
money when made y e medium of trade by law. 

" Remedy. If paper or any other material be by the govern- 
ment substituted in the room of gold & silver, & made a legal 
tender in discharge of debts, the minister shall not be obliged 
to receive it at all without his own consent ; or if he consent 
to receive it, it shall be paid only according to its real, not 
nominal value; and this real value shall be estimated every 
six months, or oftener if need be, by himself, in conjunction 
with the officers of the society, or by an appeal to arbitrators 
mutually chosen. 

" 5th J)ijji cu lty. The frequent uncertainty attending the pro- 
curement of wood & pasturing. 

"Remedy. That cords of wood, such as is commonly 

called hard wood, be provided by the society, & delivered to 
the minister cut & measured according to law, one half before 
the 20 th of December, & y e other half before the 20 th of March 

" That if the society have the disposal of the parsonage 
lands, their officers for the time being shall be impowered, 
when opportunity offers, to exchange them for some lot more 
conveniently situated, & shall in conjunction with the minister 
petition the Gen 1 Court, if need be, for liberty so to do ; & that 
the said new lot, when obtained, shall be fenced, & the fences 
kept in repair at the expence of the society. 

" Until this can be done, convenient pasturing for one horse 
& one cow to be provided by the officers of y e society, & the 

minister to allow for one horse, and for one cow 

out of his salary. This, however, to be done only when he 
shall desire it, & then to his satisfaction. 

" 6 th Difficulty. An uneasiness among some of the people at 
the absence of the minister when abroad. 

" Remedy. That the minister shall have liberty to be absent 
four Sabbaths in every year, without providing a supply for 



the pulpit or making any allowance ; & if he be absent more 

than these without providing a supply, he shall allow 

p r Sabbath. 

u 7th Difficulty. An apprehension prevailing among many 
people that the contract between a minister & people is like 
the marriage covenant, binding for life, & consequently a very 
great difficulty attending the dissolution of it ; there being 
no method established by law, & Ecclesiastical Councils be- 
ing deemed onlv advisory, & not having any decisive power, & 
mutual consent not being always readily obtained. It is there- 
fore necessary that some provision be made in the contract for 
its continuance or dissolution. 

" Remedy. That whenever either of the contracting parties 
shall desire the contract may be dissolved, the other party shall 
consent to its dissolution, which shall take place at the expira- 
tion of three months from the first notice given. Provided, 
that in the mean time, if either party shall desire a Council to 
hear & consider the reasons which are or may be alledged for 
the dissolution, & give their advice, the other party shall con- 
sent, & shall join in the choice of said Council ; & that by 
advice of said Council & the mutual consent of the parties, 
or by their mutual consent without such advice, the term of 
notice for the seperation may be lengthned or shortned. Pro- 
vided, also, that if the contract shall continue in force till 
such time as the minister shall by age or infirmity become in- 
capable of attending his ministerial duty, or any part thereof, 
•no advantage shall be taken of this or of any other article or 
clause in the contract to deprive him of an}' part of the sup- 
port herein stipulated, or to alter the mode & season of its 
payment & delivery ; but the same shall be regularly paid & 
delivered to him during his life, & what may be due at the 
time of his decease shall be paid to his lawful heirs." 

To procure another meeting, the following petition 
was handed to the Wardens : — 

" Gent n , — We are very uneasy on account of the unsettled 
state of our Parish affairs ; but at the same time cannot but 
hope that, were the people of this Parish acquainted with the 
advances which the Rev d M r Belknap has made towards an 
accommodation, they would not long remain so. For that 


purpose, & that of retracting the last vote passed at the last 

meeting, we wish they may be collected together as soon as law 

& custom will permit, & are, Gent n , &c. 

[Signed by 11 names.'] 
" Dover, Aug* 4, 1786. 

" N. B. The vote referred to in this petition, which was 
passed at the last meeting, I am desired to obliterate & not 
enter into the records. 

"N. Cooper." 

In answer to the above, the following notification 
appeared, viz* : — 

" In compliance with the above request, & that all who wish 
an accommodation with the Rev d M r Belknap, or feel them- 
selves interested in his re-settlement, may have an opportunity 
to join in making proposals necessary for so desireable an end, — 

" This is to give notice that there will be a meeting of the 
parishioners of the First Parish in Dover, at their meeting 
house, on Monday, the 14 th day of August inst., at 2 a clock, 
P. M., to pass all such votes relative to the premises which the 
convened may think proper, & also to see if the Parish will 
retract the last vote passed at their last meeting. 

" Should no proposals be agreed on, then to see if the con- 
vened will vote a temporary supply of the pulpit, & make pro- 
vision therefor, &c. 

" Aug 1 6, 1786." 

At this meeting I attended, & insisted on the retract- 
ing the obnoxious vote as a necessary preliminary to my 
receiving any proposals. Accordingly, it was retracted, 
nemine contradicente ; & I then asked whether they were 
content that everything which had passed between us since 
the vote of dissolution on the 27 th of July should stand 
for nothing, to which there was a general answer, " Yes ! 
yes ! " Then the following proposal was handed to me, 
w ch I received & desired time to consider, & 

Aug. 14. 

the meeting was adjourned. The same evening 

the Parish Wardens, of their own motion & without my 


asking, brought to my house the money which had been 
borrowed, & paid me the sum of £83.5.4, for which I 
gave them a receipt on account, & in part of an execu- 
tion which had been recovered against the Parish by Col. 
Josiah Waters, & which the s d Parish had voted to pay on 
the 22 d of May last. Of this execution there remains 
£6.17.1 unpaid, besides 11 months interest.* 

Sketch of the Plan proposed to me by the Parish. The original is said to 
be mislaid, fy I neglected to take a copy while in my hands. 

That £100 be the yearly salary, & 20 cords of wood 
provided by or before the month of March annually. 

That pasturing be provided as desired. 

Leave for four Sabbaths absence ; any more to be 
allowed for. 

That no paper money be forced upon me ; but if paid, 
to be at the real, not nominal value, to be ascertained as 
in my sketch. 

That what I proposed about the parsonage be complied 

That every year 20 days notice be given for all who 
are unable or unwilling to pay toward y e support of the 
minister to give in their names, & they to be excused 
for that year. 

That this contract take place y e 20 th of March next, & 
that all arrears previously due be paid before that time. 

That in case either party shall desire a dissolution of 
the contract, it shall be left to a Council, whose decision 
shall be binding. 

That in case of age or infirmity in the minister, his 
salary be continued during life. 

* The preceding part of this narrative covers nearly fifty-five quarto pages of manu- 
script; and beginning at this point Dr. Belknap left a little less than seven pnges blank, 
apparently for a continuation which was never prepared. The portion which follows was 
probably written after his removal to Boston. — Eds. 


My Answer to the Proposals of the Parish, Aug. 25, 1786, 
Sf Alterations proposed. 

" That the sum of £100 proposed as a salary be un- 
derstood to be in silver & gold, as they are now estab- 
lished by law, viz. silver at 6/8, & gold at £5.6.8 p r oz. 

" That of the 20 cords of wood, six cords be delivered 
by the 20 th of Dec r , the rest before the 20 th of March 
annually, & that in case of any deficiency in the quan- 
tity delivered, it be made good by the payment of the 
value thereof in cash, according to the current price of 
wood in y e preceeding winter. 

" That the allowance for any number of Sabbaths above 
four, in case of absence, be 30 / each. 

" That there be public notice given by an advertise- 
ment every year when the 20 days are to begin & end 
in w ch persons may have liberty to enter their names, in 
order to be exempted from paying toward the support 
of the minister. 

" That whenever either of the contracting parties shall 
desire a dissolution of the contract, the reasons for said 
desire shall be delivered to the other party, & the con- 
tract shall be dissolved at the expiration of three months 
from the time of signifying such desire. Provided that 
either party may in the mean time propose the calling an 
Ecclesiastical Council, to whom the reasons alledged for 
the dissolution may be submitted for their opinion & 
advice, & the other party shall consent to it & join in the 
calling of the said Council. Provided also, that all pecu- 
niary claims on either side in case of a dissolution shall 
be submitted to arbitrators mutually chosen, & each party 
shall be bound in sufficient penalties to abide by their 
decision as final. But that if this contract shall continue 
in force, &c, — as provided. 

" The time when this contract is proposed to begin is 
the 20^ of March next, on which I would make the fol- 


lowing queries. Whether it is not best to ascertain as 
early as possible the number of those who intend to join in 
supporting the Gospel ministry, & whether this cannot 
be done by giving seven days notice now for those who are 
disposed to withdraw their names from the list already 
made and partly collected, & if any of those who have 
paid should withdraw, that they be repaid? Whether the 
putting off the contract to March will not subject the 
parish to all the inconveniencies of an unsettled state, as 
they have no promise from me of continuing with them 
beyond the first iveek in September? Should the time of 
beginning the contract be altered to the 4: th of September, & 
the alterations which are above proposed be adopted by 
the Parish, I have no objection to any other part of the 
proposed contract, & shall be ready to conclude & execute 
it on my part, as I expect it will be on the part of the 
Parish, as soon as it can be determined whether there 
is a sufficient number of persons who are willing to con- 
tribute toward the support of the Gospel, & stand by one 
another for that purpose. 

" Augt. 25, 1786." 

I was present at their next meeting, on the 28 of Aug*, 
& by their desire consented to wait till the ll" 1 of SepT, & 
it was mutually agreed that an advertisement should be 
posted desiring all who were unwilling to adopt the new 
plan to give in their names by that time. 

Fifteen names appeared in opposition to it by y e 11 th of 
Sep r , many others were indifferent, and those who ap- 
peared most zealous for it at first were discouraged, & I 
was told that it was in vain to keep myself in suspence 
any longer, as there was no prospect of its ever being 
heartily adopted. 

Therefore on the 15 th of September I addressed the 
following to the Parish Wardens, viz*: — 


" Gen n , — After the Parish had on the 27 th of July last ac- 
knowledged the dissolution of the contract between me & them, 
I did at the earnest request of a number of them consent to 
enter into a negociation for forming another, & engaged to wait 
till the first week in Sep r for the completion of it, & afterward 
by desire of the Parish consented to extend the time to the 11 th 
of Sep r . I have on my part fully complied with their desire & 
my engagement. I have endeavoured faithfully & unreservedly 
to form such a contract as in my opinion would have remedied 
all the inconveniencies to which the former was subject, & have 
waited the full extent of the time limited. But as the Parish 
have neither completed the contract on their part, nor fulfilled 
the condition on which it was to take place, nor entered into 
any further consultation with me on the subject, & as moreover 
there appears to me no prospect of any effectual union among 
them, but the contrary, I am therefore constrained to tell you 
that since Monday, the 11 th of this instant September, I look 
upon myself as entirely free from all engagements to them & 
must act accordingly. Wishing they may have a true sense of 
their own interest & steadily & unitedly pursue it, & that the 
Divine blessing may rest upon them, I am, &c. 

" P. S. To go through the operation of taking a public 
solemn leave of them is more than I can bear. My friends there- 
fore must excuse it. I wish the people may have seasonable 
notice not to come together to-morrow." 

The reasons of my not consenting to put off the con- 
tract to March were : that I could see no ground to hope 
that it would be any more generally adopted then than 
now ; that it would oblige me to live another half-year in 
an unsettled state, & I had already spent 4 months in this 
way without any promise of recompence ; that if it were 
to be considered that I had remained hitherto & was still 
to remain till March upon the old plan, I must be looked 
upon as having falsified my word ; that 15 had already 
appeared against the plan, & some of them men of influ- 
ence ; & that, as there appeared to me & to others no 
prospect of its being established, the sooner it was ended 
the better both for them & me. 



On y e 25 th of September y e Parish chose a committee 
who were " in conjunction with me to make choice of 
indifferent persons out of town to adjust all accounts and 
demands from my settlement until the 11 th of this month." 

When y e committee came to me, I told them that all 
accounts had been settled to y e 30 th of April last, & as to 
what was due to me besides I could settle it with the 
Parish Wardens in half an hour ; therefore I saw no rea- 
son for indifferent persons to interpose in the matter; but 
that if they were desirous of having an Ecclesiastical 
Council to review y e whole proceedings, I had no objec- 
tion. This they declined, & desired me to send in an 
account of y e whole of what was due to me, which I did 
on y e 2 d of October, as follows : — 

A note on interest from the Parish Wardens, July 22, 1786, £16. 1.2J 
A note on interest from the Parish Wardens to John Kielle, 

dated July 26, 1786, & endorsed to me,* 45. — . — 
For my services as a minister from y e 1 st of May to y e 11 th 

Sep r , deducting 31 days absence, 110 days at 6/ per day, 33. — . — 
Due in part of y e execution issued Sep., 1785, viz. : — 

Damages £85.10.5 

Costs 4.12. 

90. 2.5 
Paid Aug* 14 83. 5.4 

6.17.1 6.17.1 

11 months interest of £85.10.5 4.14. — 


Oct. 23, they voted " that nonpayment be made to M r Bel- 
knap of his demands on y e Parish exhibited by him Oct. 2, 
until a final settlement be made between him & y e Parish." 

Of this I took no notice, and on y e 6 th of Nov r following 
they passed another vote, viz* : — 

" That it is the opinion of the Parish that the Rev d M r 
Belknap oiigM to refund to them £90 out of his demands 

* N. B. After I found that it was impracticable for me to continue with y e people, I 
returned .£-15 of y e money y* was paid me on y e 14 Aug 4 to John Kielle, of whom it was 
borrowed, & took an endorsement of y e note which y e Parish Wardens had given him. — 
Nutt by Dr. Belknap. 


on them as per his acc° presented Oct. 2, & if agreed to, 
then the Wardens are impowered & authorized to pay him 
the balance as soon as may be." 

Being absent, I did not hear of this last vote till some 
time in January, 1787. 

In February I went to Dover & had a conference with 
the Parish Wardens, in w h I told them that I utterly de- 
nied the claim which the Parish had made of £90 ; that it 
was not due to them by any rule of reason nor of law. 
But that in consideration of the profession w h I had made 
on y e 30 th of April last of my determination not to re- 
ceive anything of them which should become due after 
that day by virtue of a former contract, or that could not 
be drawn from them but by force of law, if they would 
freely and quietly pay y e £16 note which was due before 
y e resignation of my salary, & y° £4.12 costs of suit 
which I had advanced, I would make them a present of y e 
ballance, amounting to £84.19; on this condition, how- 
ever, that they should under their hands acknowledge 
that they received it of me as a free gift. After some 
hesitation they complied, & y e following receipts were 
exchanged, viz* : — 

"Dover, Feb? 9, 1787. 

" This day I have rec d of the Parish Wardens a note of hand 
for <£4.12, the costs recovered in y e late suit & charged in the 
within acco*, w ch , together with the note on interest for £16.1.2^ 
when paid, will be in full of all demands on s d Wardens or Parish. 
The remainder of the within acc°, amounting to 84.19.— f, I 
freely give them as an evidence of the sincerity of my professions 
expressed in my public address of the 30 th of April last. 

" Jeremy Belknap." 

" Dover, Feby 9, 1787. 

"We the subscribers, Wardens of the First Parish in Dover, 
do acknowledge the receipt of £84.19.-| of the Rev d M r Belknap, 
as a free gift to s d Parish. 

" Ezra Green. 
Benja Titcomb. 
Eben b Tebbetts." 



To the honor of D r Ezra Green I mention it, y* he re- 
turned me four dollars as his part of y e s d £84.19. 

which he thought the Parish ought not to have taken 
from me. I believe some others are of y e same mind, 
tho' they have not expressed it in the same manner. 

After this settlement I rec d the following from the 

« At a meeting of y e breth n of the Chh. of Christ in Dover 
on Thursday, March 8, 1787, voted, Deac 11 Kimbal, Mod- 
erator. Voted, that y e pastoral relation betwixt the Rev* 
J. Belknap & this Chh. be at his request dissolved, & 
we do furthermore certify that while he was our minister 
his moral & ministerial character stood fair, & we do freely 
recommend him to the communion of the churches, or any 
particular church where he may in the course of Providence 
be called. 

" Eph m Kimbal, in behalf of y* Church:' 


These may certify whom it may concern that the Eev d 
M r Jeremy Belknap, late minister of Dover, & one of our 
Association, has been dismissed from his Parish by mutual 
consent, & is now preaching as a candidate. We take this 
opportunity cheerfully to testify to the goodness of his 
moral & ministerial character, & as cheerfully recommend 

* This Testimonial, and the vote of the Dover Church printed above, were read to 
the Council convened April 4, 1787, for the instalment of Mr. Belknap in Boston, and are 
entered on the records of the Church in Long Lane. The record then proceeds: "The 
Council being thus satisfied, voted to proceed to the instalment, which was performed in 
the meetinghouse in the following manner. The Rev fl M r Eckley began the solemnity 
with prayer. The Rev' 1 M r Macclintock preached a Sermon well adapted to the occasion, 
from Acts 2. 22. The Rev (1 D' Lathrop prayed before the Charge. The Revd M r Jackson 
gave the Charge. The Rev d M r Eliot prayed after the Charge, & the Rev d M r Thacher 
gave the Bight Hand of Fellowship, by which token not only the pastor was acknowledged 
as a brother, but the church was received into the communion of the Congregational 
churches." — Eds. 


him to the service of the churches wherever God in his 
providence may call him. 

Joseph Buckminster. Benj^ Stevens. 
Joseph Haven. Sam l Haven. 

Joseph Litchfield. Isaac Lyman. 

James Miltimore. Sam l Macclintock. 

Matthew Merriam. 

Benjamin Balch. 
Kittery, Oct. 11, 1786. John Tompson. 

Alpheus Spring. 


Do you now, in the presence of God and his people, 
solemnly profess your faith in the only true God, and in 
Jesus Christ whom he hath sent ? Do you, according to 
the new & everlasting covenant, take God for your God, 
& give yourself to him as one of his people, to love him 
and serve him in holiness & righteousness all the days of 
your life ? 

Do you believe in Jesus Christ as the Mediator of this 
covenant, & hope for redemption through his blood, even 
the forgiveness of your sins, according to the riches ot 
Divine grace ? Do you promise to deny yourself, to take 
up the cross & follow Christ ? to observe all things which 
he hath commanded, to continue in his word, in the doc- 
trine and fellowship of his Church, and in the breaking of 
bread, according to his command, Do this in remembrance 
of me ? 

* This form of admission to the church is in the handwriting of Dr. Belknap, and was 
probably drawn up by him. We have not been able to ascertain when it was first used; 
but it appears from the manuscript records of the Church that at a church meeting held 
April 17, 1787, at the house of Deacon William McNeil, it was voted, among other things, 
"That new members be propounded previous to their admission, & when admitted that 
they publickly own the covenant, at the Lord's table, all the other members standing 
& joining therein." It was also voted, " That the Deacons assist the Minister in the gov- 
ernment of the Church, & in preparing matters to be laid before the Brethren." At the 
same meeting, "It was proposed that a chapter in the Bible be read at the time of public 
worship, & no objection was made to it." — Eds. 


Though sensible of your own insufficiency for these 
things, do you believe that his grace is sufficient for you, 
& desire that his strength may be made perfect in your 
weakness ; and that God by his Holy Spirit would sanc- 
tify, guide, & comfort you till he shall receive you to 
himself in glory ? 

Is this your profession and hope ? 


Philadelphia, January 8 th , 1788. 

Dear Sir, — Accept of my thanks for your polite and 
friendly letter. I am no stranger to your name, nor to 
your worthy character, and shall be very happy in cul- 
tivating a correspondence with you. Who knows how 
much good may be done by the union of the friends of 
order & humanity in every part of the world ? However 
much they may be scattered over the surface of the 
globe, they are all members of one great republic. 

At the request of our mutual friend, D r Clarkson, I 
enclose you a copy of the first ace* of the Pennsylvania 
Hospital. From the reduction of its funds by the late 
war, its usefulness is of late much circumscribed ; but 
the inconveniences arising from this circumstance have 
been in a great degree remedied by the establishment of 
a Dispensary in our city. Upwards of 1,500 patients 
have been relieved by it in the course of the last year, 
and at the moderate expence of about £500. Thus have 
we applied the principles of mechanics to morals ; for in 
what other way could so great a weight of evil have 
been removed by so small a force ? 

Our Society for abolishing negro slavery are about to 

* Benjamin Rush, M. D., LL. D., one of the signers of the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, was born near Philadelphia, Dec. 24, 1745, and died in that city April 19, 1813. He 
was equally distinguished as a physician and as a public-spirited citizen. — Eds. 

1788.] JEDIDIAH MORSE. 381 

address our Legislature in favor of a law to prohibit the 
fitting out, owning, or ensuring vessels in Pennsylvania 
that are to be employed directly or indirectly in the 
African slave trade. It is expected this law will meet 
with no opposition. 

I beg of your acceptance of a syllabus of 12 lectures 
which I lately gave to the young ladies of the Academy, 
for whose benefit I threw together the hasty thoughts 
upon female education which I did myself the honor of 
sending to you some months ago. 

With great respect, I am, d r Sir, your most obedient, 
humble servant, 

Benj n Rush. 

The Reverend Mr. Jeremy Belknap, Boston. 

New Haven, Jan? 18 th . 1788. 

Rev'd Sir, — Tho. I have not the honour of a personal 
acquaintance, yet your writings &, report have given you 
such a character as has induced me to presume upon 
your excuse for troubling you with the enclosed. A year 
& a half ago I was honoured with a letter from you ac- 
knowledging the receipt of a small geographical publica- 
tion of mine, & containing your very friendly criticisms 
upon it, for whh., if I do not misremember, I wrote you 
a letter of thanks. Since that time I have travelled 
thro, all the States with a particular view of collecting 
the necessary information for a second publication on the 
same subject. I have been in some good degree success- 
ful. The work (whh. will be enlarged to an octavo vol. 
of at least 400 pages) is preparing for the press with all 

* Rev. Jedidiah Morse, D. D., was born in Woodstock, Conn., Aug. 23, 1761, gradu- 
ated at Yale College in 1783, was installed as minister of the First Church in Charlestown, 
Mass., in 1789, resigned in 1820, and died in New Haven, Conn., June 9, 1826. As a 
geographer he had a European reputation, and he took a very active part in the theological 
controversies of his time. — Eds. 


suitable expedition, & will probably be ready in a month 
or two. That the book may be as complete & as accurate 
as possible, I propose when I shall have written my ace* 
of each State from the best materials I have collected, to 
send it to some gentleman in the State described, who 
will be capable of correcting the errors of the description 
& of supplying deficiencies. With this view, Sir, I have 
taken the liberty to enclose you my acct. of New Hamp- 
shire. You will excuse my sending you the first & only 
draught. It is mangled & blotted, but I believe it is 
legible. I expect to copy it for the press. It would be 
a Herculean labour to copy the whole work twice. I 
have left a blank leaf for corrections & additions. Don't, 
Sir, spare me in the former, nor deny me the latter. I 
know of no person more capable of assisting me in both 
than yourself. The nature of the work will not admit of 
much originality. The book must derive its merit (if it 
has any) from the accuracy & judgment with whh. it is 
compiled, rather than from the genius with whh. it is com- 
posed. To save me from the odious character of a 
plagiarist, general credit will be given in the Preface for 
all selections inserted in the work. I don't mean to par- 
ticularize all, for that would be both needless & endless. 
I mention this as a necessary apology for having made 
so much use of your publications in the enclosed ace* of 
N. Hamp re . 

The history, you will observe, is brought down no 
farther than where your first vol. leaves it. Will not the 
public shortly be obliged by your second vol. ? As you 
doubtless, Sir, have the necessary materials, will it con- 
sist with your convenience to give me a very brief sketch 
of the remainder of the hist, of N. Hamp re down to the 
present period ? Besides a sketch of the particular his- 
tory of each of the New Eng d States I purpose to give a 
brief general history of them combined till their par- 
ticular histories commence. 

1788.] JEDEDIAH MOESE. 383 

I have not yet written my ace* of Massachusetts. I 
am at present deficient as to such particular & accurate 
information of that State as I could wish. I have un- 
successfully applied to a number of gentlemen for their 
assistance. My information from the Southern is much 
more particular than from the Northern States. I have 
published a number of Geographical Enquiries, to whh. I 
have ree'd complete answers from several States. Per- 
haps, Sir, you have seen them. I think Mr. Mycall of 
Newburyport has published them lately in his paper. 
They have been published in many of the public papers. 
Would it not be possible to get them answered with re- 
spect to Mass ts ? There are many gentlemen in Boston 
who I presume might answer most of them in a few hours 
time. It would be greatly obliging me, & it would not 
be unacceptable to the public. Pardon my importunity. 
It arises from an ambition to have an accurate account 
given to the public of New England. I apply to none 
but literary characters, from whom I have reason to hope 
for success. Your influence in the matter will avail me 
much. When I shall have written my acct. of Mass ts , if 
it will not be troubling you too much, I shall wish to sub- 
mit it your inspection, & correction, & shall wish you to 
shew it to such of your literary friends as you may think 

Some time since a Magazine was published in Boston, 
(if I mistake not, Freeman was the editor,) whh. was 
partly taken up in describing very particularly the sev- 
eral towns in Mass* 3 , — it would be of great service to 
me. I was to have had a sett of them forwarded to me, 
but have never ree'd them. Can they be procured ? If 
those numbers only whh. contain these particular descrip- 
tions of towns could be obtained & forwarded under cover 
to Mr. Elias Beers, Post Master, New Haven, (whose per- 
mission I have,) I should be very much obliged, & would 
make immediate remittance of the expence. I have been 

384 THE BELKNAP PAPERS. v [1788. 

some time making collections for a Gazetteer of the 
United States. 

When you shall have perused & corrected the enclosed, 
(whh. I wish may be done as soon as may suit your con- 
venience,) will you be kind enough, Sir, to enclose it to 
me, under cover to Mr. Beers, as above ; as it is the only 
copy I have, I should be very sorry to lose it. 

I have the happiness to be particularly acquainted with 
Mr. Payne of Charleston ; he has some copies of my 
Enquiries, & I hope some information for me. 

Excuse me, Sir, for troubling you with so many re- 
quests, & so long a letter, & believe that I am, rev'd Sir, 
with great respect & esteem, your most obd fc & very hum- 
ble serv 4 , 

Jed h Morse. 

Rev'd Jeremy Belknap. 


Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Boston. Free. Jere h Lilbey. 

Portsmouth, Feb? 8 th , 1788. 

Dear S r , — I rec d your kind favour of the 6 th instant, 
and do rejoice that the Constitution is adopted by your 
State ; altho the majority was small, it must be pleasing 
to hear that the minority appear to be satisfied, & promise 
to do all in their power to inculcate peace & harmony 
among their constituents. Our Convention is to meet 
next Wednesday, & I hope to have the pleasure to inform 
you of the adoption of it in this State within a short 
time, and by a larger majority. 

Inclos'd is a letter I rec d from Dover. 

With compliments to Mrs. Belknap, I am, dear Sir, 
your most hum. servant, 

Jeremiah Libbey. 

1788.] NOAH WEBSTER. 385 


The Reverend M r Belknap, Boston or New Hampshire, 

New York, Feby 9 th , 1788. 

Rev d Sir, — My acquaintance with you, tho slight, 
will, I flatter myself, apologize for this letter ; especially 
as the subject is important. 

I now superintend the publication of a Magazine in 
this city, the plan of which I wish to enlarge so as to 
comprehend every species of useful information in the 
United States, — in short, so as to make it a federal pub- 
lication. My plan is this : to divide the property of the 
work into ten shares; to have a proprietor in Boston, 
another in Connecticut, a third in Philadelphia, a fourth 
in Virginia, a fifth in Charleston, & the editor with the 
principal superintendence in New York & four shares. 
The other share to be disposed of in New Jersey, Mary- 
land, or Georgia, as we can find a suitable person ; or 
perhaps in Connecticut, if all the poets in that State will 
unite in partnership. The proprietors in the distant 
parts will have little more business than to collect mate- 
rials & forward to the editor. The materials to consist of 
original essays on all subjects, returns of deaths, burials, 
&c, entries at custom-houses, philosophical observations 
on the weather, the degrees of heat & cold, celestial phe- 
nomena, state of civil & ecclesiastical polity, colleges, 
ancient records & curious anecdotes, &c, &c. These 
articles regularly communicated, with such European 
articles as would be interesting, would fill 100 pages 
large octavo each month, & being sent to every part of 
America would form a line of useful intelligence highly 
beneficial to the States in every point of view. Such a 

* Noah Webster, the celebrated lexicographer, was born in West Hartford, Conn., Oct. 
16, 1758, graduated at Yale College in 1778, and died in New Haven, May 28, 1843. He 
was the first editor of Winthrop's Journal, and was a voluminous writer, but he is now 
best known by his Spelling Book and Dictionaries. — Eds. 



plan well executed would remove prejudices, & gradually 
cement our union. 

The gentlemen I have thought of as proprietors are 
M r Belknap, M r Barlow or M r TrumbulJ, D r Rush, & 
D r Ramsay. Who can be obtained in Virginia I know 
not. I have written to these gentlemen, but have not 
3*et received an answer from either. 

Such a work would be read by almost every man of 
tolerable taste & property in America. The smallest 
number of subscribers to be expected is 3,000 ; the prob- 
ability is there would be 5,000. The work at 3 dollars 
a year would clear one dollar for each Magazine, which 
would leave 100 dollars clear profit for each proprietor 
on every thousand. The shares would be worth at least 
300 dollars each, & probably 500 ; & any gentleman of 
tolerable leisure would make the proper collections of 
materials without interfering with other business. The 
proprietors would be the wholesale merchants, & the 
booksellers might make a profit that would render it 
worth their while to take all the trouble of the subscrip- 
tions. As editor, I would engage to furnish paper, con- 
tract for printing, superintend the press, arrange the 
materials, & disperse the copies to every part of America. 
The plan, if formed, may be settled the beginning of the 
present year, & the proposals circulating for the six last 
months, so that the publication might commence the 
beginning of next year. 

I cannot but think this plan practicable, & the most 
useful that can be devised for a young country. Such 
publications are supported in London by societies of 
literary gentlemen, & it appears to me one might be 
conducted in America that would be beneficial to the 
proprietors as well as to the public. Indeed, periodical 
publications are almost the only lucrative ones, as you 
probably may know from experience. 

Such are the outlines of the plan which are submitted 


Ij to your better judgement. I wish a few friends only to 
\ be made acquainted] with It, for in private life as in 
government] monarchy* is the most energetic in its 

I am, rev d Sir, with perfect respect, your most obedient 
hum 1 servant, 

Noah Webster. 

The Eev d Jeremiah Belknap. 


June 28, 1788. 
Y B letter addressed to me would not have lain so long 
unanswered had you not mentioned y e 6 last months of 
the present year as the time for circulating proposals for 
your Magazine. From this circumstance I thought I 
might take time to consider what you proposed, & needed 
not be in a hurry to form a judgment. The publication 
of the work, however, in regular monthly numbers, proves 
that you have formed your plan, & I suppose engaged 
such assistance as is agreeable ; but if you had not, it 
could by no means be in my power to comply with your 
desire. I have as many engagements as I can possibly 
attend to, & should be loth to form any others lest I 
should disappoint y e expectations of my friends. I hope 
to rank you among y e number, & am, Sir, y r very hbl. 
serv fc , 

J. B. 

* Query, — Who is to be the Monarch ? 

" Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world 
Like a Colossus; & we petty Men 
Walk under his huge legs & peep about 
To find ourselves dishonourable graves." 

Shaksp. Jul. Cses. 

The foregoing query and answer were written in the margin by Dr. Belknap. In the 
correspondence between Belknap and Hazard, Noah Webster is frequently referred to as 
"the Monarch." — Ens. 

t Dr. Belknap's "Answer" is printed from a copy, partly in short hand, filed among 
his papers. — Eds. 



Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Boston. Free. Jeremiah Libbey. 

Portsmouth, Feb* 19 th , 1788. 

Dear S r , — When you gave me the pleasing account 
of the adoption of the Constitution by your State, I had 
no doubt in my mind but I should have been able to 
have retnrn'd you an agreable one of the doings of onr 
Convention ; but I do assure you I feel mortified & very 
disagreable to find how they are conducting. By the 
Spy which I inclose you will see their proceedings for 
the first day or two ; since which it appears there is a 
majority against it, and their conduct is as it is. They, 
the Antifederalist, except two or three of their leaders, 

are as dumb & obstinate as . They will not say a 

word on the subject, even in private conversation, being 
determin'd [to] put the issue on the important sign of 
[li]fting their hands, and I suppose every one of them 
has capacity to do that. Their leaders are General 
Badger and Atherton the lawyer, in the Convention ; & 
General Peabody, who has not a seat, acts out door, & 
does more mischief than he could do had he a seat. 
From what Mr. Pickering & others say, the only thing 
that can be done to prevent its rejection is to have an 
adjournment of the Convention. I think to go to Exeter 
tomorrow, and still hope to be able to give you a more 
agreable account, for I find the present conduct alarms 
all characters in this town. They seem to apprehend the 
most fatall consequences from the present appearances. 

What will be the event God only knows, and altho at 
present it appears so very disagreable I cannot but think 
something brighter will open on us, as every person of 
any reputation is desirous of its being adopted, & repro- 
bate the conduct of those persons who oppose it in the 
way they do. 

1788.] JEREMIAH LIBBEY. 389 

I shall by next stage inform you how they proceed, & 
am, dear S r , your friend & servant, 

Jeremiah Libbey. 

P. S. Have rec d yours. Will observe its contents & 
answer it W* next stage. 

Y rs , J. L. 


Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Boston. Free. J h Libbey. 

Portsmouth, Feb? 22 d , 1788. 

Dear S r ,— I rec d yours of the 16 th . If M r Eoberts 
calls on me for the tax, I will pay it. I believe the 
General Court in their last session did nothing on your 
matter. I spoke to several of the members, & they did 
not doubt that something would be done, if it could be 
bro't forward ; but they seem'd to be in such a hurry 
that I think it was not taken up. When the Dec r Maga- 
zine arrives, I will make out the ace* as you request. 
Three sett is all that you need to send, as I have disposed 
of no more ; the remainder I shall return you. 

I was at Exeter on Wednesday last, and am not so 
apprehensive of the rejection of the Constitution as before 
I went, but yet am not without my fears. I am in great 
hopes that M r Atherton, the leader of the Antifederalists, 
will destroy what he aims to establish by his overmuch 
talking. There is no paragraph but he objects to, & I 
think from his over zeal he will eventually serve the 
cause he means to injure. It is very doubtfull how the 
numbers are ; each party think they have a majority, & 
yet appear afraid of each other. They have now got 
thro the Constitution ; and whether the grand question 
will be put tomorrow is uncertain, as each party seem 
doubtfull of the issue. Some propose an adjournment 
of the Convention, while others wish for the ques- 
tion. One or the other will take place tomorrow, it is 


expected ; and the inhabitants of this town are waiting 
with impatience for the determination. Mr. Pickering 
informs that the objections and debates are many of them 
new, & very different from any in the Massachusetts. 
Whether any person has taken them down I know not. 
The speakers on Wednesday were M r Atherton, M r Hooper, 
the Baptist preacher, and a M r Parker, against the Con- 
stitution. They were answer'd in a masterly manner (as 
I tho't) by Dr. La[ngdon], Mr. Thirston of North Hill, 
Judge Livermore, President Sullivan, Col. Langdon, & 
Mr. Pickering. A Deacon Stone was much alarmd be- 
cause there was no test. " He thot it would leave the 
Bible, that precious Jewell, that pearl of great price, 
without any support, and that the Papist or men of no 
religion would get into office, and that the blood of all 
the martyrs would rise up against us." He was answerd 
by M r Thurstin & Judge Livermore in a manner that was 
pleasing to the audience. 

I have not time to enlarge or to correct what I have 
wrote. The blunders, &c, you will excuse, & believe me 

to be, S r , 

Your friend & very hum. serv*., 

Jeremiah Libbey. 


TJie Rev. M r Jeremy Belknap, Boston. 

Philadelphia, 25 th Feb^, 1788. 

Sir, — I have to apologize for my neglect in not earlier 
answering your obliging favor of the 2 nd of January last. 
Hurry of business, with an expectation of communicating 
to you some matters relative to the Magazine, is what I 
hope will plead my excuse ; besides, I expect M r Dallas, 
as a person of more leisure and better adapted for the 
purpose, corresponds with you on such subjects as appear 


to him of consequence in the pursuit of our undertaking. 
Apprehensive lest I might be neglectful, I sent M r Dallas 
your last letter, with the inclosures, immediately on re- 
ceipt thereof. As a man of business I may occasionally 
trouble you with a few lines ; as such, I hope you will 
accept of them, and grant me your indulgence for im- 

The proprietors of the Magazine have lately had a 
meeting to settle accounts for the first volume, the inves- 
tigation of which, as was expected, did not turn out 
favorable, there appearing to be a considerable loss. 
Such an issue of the business could not be very satisfac- 
tory to persons in business, the consequence of which has 
been that a dissolution of the partnership has taken place. 
I was made an offer of continuing the publication, which 
I accepted of, in order to make a trial for a few months 
longer, though appearances are not in its favor from a 
variety of circumstances, — having the Museum to con- 
tend with in this city, and a similar publication in New 

The receipt of the American Plutarch has elated me to 
no small degree, esteeming it an article that should inter- 
est readers on all parts of this continent. / consider the 
sum I have stipulated as inadequate to the assistance you have 
rendered the Magazine, but necessity compels the making 
a close bargain. I however would be sorry that my 
fixing a rate on such assistance as you may please to 
afford, or the manner in which I have taken to convey 
that idea, should give you offence, as nothing could be 
farther from my meaning. Whenever I write, which at 
all times is with reluctance, and generally in a hurry, it 
is without much consideration, therefore may commit to 
paper my ideas in a coarse manner, tho' at the same time 
riot intended. If success should happen to crown our 

* See Dr. Belknap's letter to Ebenezer Hazard, March 19, 1788, in 5 Mass. Hist. Coll., 
vol. iii. p. 27. — Eds. 


endeavors, you shall then have your own terms. I am 
sorry the Foresters did not accompany the Plutarch ; 
the want of more original matter, I think, must operate 
against the success of the Magazine. In the Notes to 
Correspondents we have solicited the assistance of mate- 
rials for the Plutarch, but doubt much of receiving any, 
as voluntary supplies of aid have been very few. Any 
expence or step you may take towards forwarding the 
Magazine shall have my approbation, whether it proves 
successful or not; and if a farther abatement of 10 or 
15£ ^> cent will induce M r Lai kin to extend the sale 
in the New England States by placing them in the hands 
of creditable booksellers or others, this or any other 
agreement you may make with him for that purpose shall 
have my concurrence. None as yet have been sent to 
Rhode Island, Worcester, &c, where I suppose a few 
might be disposed of. I am unacquainted with the book- 
sellers or the mode for conveyance to the Northern 
States, but would willingly forward them to such as are 
likely to make regular payments. Exertions must be 
made to ensure even a tolerable portion of success, and I 
am determined nothing in my power shall be wanting. 
I am now reprinting the first six months, which I expect 
will be finished the latter end of April next, and thereby 
complete about 800 volumes, and will then have it in my 
power to forward as many complete volumes as may be 
required, bound, or in blue paper. 

I cannot answer for Mr. Trenchard's talent at taking 
likenesses. He was rather unfortunate in that of General 
Washington, which was generally disapproved of. He 
may, however, be more fortunate in his future essays in 
that line. The reason for my requesting your furnishing 
hints for designs for the engravings was to prevent our 
subjects being altogether local, and that you might proba- 
bly recommend some things which might please with you. 
The map of Pennsylvania given with the January Maga- 

1788.] JOHN SULLIVAN. 393 

zine will shew you that our design of giving maps has 
not altogether fallen through. It has turned out a tedi- 
ous and expensive undertaken, the cost about £60 of this 
currency. The month to which the map is prefixed is 
not to be sold under half a dollar, unless to the perma- 
nent friends of the work, who are to have it at the usual 
price. The charge to booksellers as usual, provided an 
equal number shall be taken of the succeeding months for 
that year, or to be paid for at the rate of 3s. for each 
Magazine. Inclosed I send you M r Carey's receipt for 
18s., which I have paid him, and charged to your ace*. 
I remain, with great esteem & respect, your obliged 

humble servant, 

William Spotswood. 


Rev d Jeremiah Belknap, at Boston. 

Durham, Feb? 26, 1788. 

My dear Friend, — The inclosed being altogether of 
a private nature, I now proceed to give you some account 
of our political proceedings in this State. The Conven- 
tion when assembled to the amount of one hundred stood 
thus : seventy against & thirty for the new Constitution. 
You will perhaps wonder how it happened that so large a 
majority was against it & so few in favor ; but you know, 
Sir, that few enter at the strait gate, while great numbers 
pursue a more dangerous road. But the minority was 
made up of men that had studied the Constitution, acted 
their own judgment, & felt themselves possessed of inde- 
pendent minds & estates. The majority had some good 
men that were short sighted ; some few who longed for 
the onions of Egypt ; many who were distressed & in 
debt; numbers who conceived that this system would 
compel men to be honest, against both their inclination & 


their interest ; some who were blinded through excess of 
zeal for the cause of religion, and others who by putting 
on the masque of sanctity thought to win proselites. 
Thus aranged, we entered the field of action ; and you 
cannot be surprized if I tell you that all the objections 
made against the new plan & published in your State 
were handed out here by rote, with such amendments, 
alterations, embellishments, and disfigurements as in- 
genuity, folly, obstinacy, & false piety could suggest. 
However, the good cause gained ground, & when we 
adjourned I think that a majority was in favor; but as 
about thirty who were bound by instructions to vote 
against the plan had through the preaching of Doctor 
Langdon & others become real converts, it was thought 
best to have an adjournment that they might go home & 
obtain liberty to act their own judgment, and I doubt not 
but it will then be received by a very large majority. 
But, Sir, lest you should conceive that we have no talents 
at invention in this State, and that all our objections were 
borrowed from Massachusetts, I will now give you some 
specimens of New Hampshire ingenuity. A pious Deacon 
liked the plan, or rather would have liked it if it had 
afforded any security of our having the Holy Scriptures 
continued to us in our mother tongue. The ^Yant of a 
religeous test was urged here, as well as with you; but 
even if that was given up in all other cases, the President 
at least ought to be compelled to submit to it, for other- 
wise, says one, " a Turk, a Jew, a Rom [an] Catholic, and 
what is worse than all, a Universal[ist], may be President 
of the United States." If time would permit, I could give 
you many other specimens of original genius in the mem- 
bers of our Convention, but I hope the above will suffice. 
I beg you to present my compliments to your lady and 
family, and that you will believe me to be, very respect- 
fully, Sir, your most obedient serv', 

Jno. Sullivan. 

Rev d Mr. Ddknap. 


1788] JOHN SULLIVAN. 395 


Durham, February 26 th , 1788. 

My dear Sir, — I hope you will not suppose me un- 
mindful of what I promised concerning your books. I 
considered that, if it was brought on before the Court 
and rejected,, it would almost preclude every prospect in 
future ; I therefore concluded it was best privately to feel 
the pultses of members, but to my very great mortifica- 
tion I found it impossible to attempt it with the most 
distant probability of success. The complaint at Charles- 
town was the derangement of our finances ; at Decern 1 " & 
Jan y sessions the hurry of business was assigned as an 
additional reason for delay. I do not, however, despair 
of success, although I lament the injury which you must 
suffer by having the matter postponed. The most mate- 
rial objection is in great measure removed. The credit 
of the State, which has been sunk to the lowest mark, has 
now arisen to a heighth almost beyond conception ; our 
deranged finances are restored to order; & orders upon 
our treasury now pass equal with silver & gold. This, Sir, 
was owing to some acts which I procured to be passed, 
but not without great opposition, the good effects of 
which are now sensibly felt, & begin to be universally 
acknowledged. This change in the face of our public 
affairs will open the way for a display of generosity, or at 
least will prevent our shuddering at the idea of expending 
a small sum to procure great & lasting benefit to the 
State. You may rest assured, Sir, that I will spare no 
effort to have it fixed at the next session. I am, with the 
most exalted sentiments of esteem and respect, Sir, 

Your most obed* serv*, 

Private. Jn° Sullivan. 

Rev d Mr Belknap. 


Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Boston. Free. Jere h Libbey. 

Portsmouth, Feb y 26 th , 1788. 

Dear S r , — Have just rec d yours of the 24 th . The 
report you mention is true. The Convention adjournd 
on Fry day last to meet at Concord on the third Wednes- 
day of June next. Mr. Pickering says it was the only 
thing that could be done to prevent the Constitutions 
being thrown out, and they obtaind an adjournment by a 
small majority. There were 45 Federalists & 11 that 
would have voted for it, but their instructions would not 
permit* The others were as obstinate as could be con- 
ceived. Mr, Atherton says it will be better for this State 
to reject it & stand alone if all the others adopt it. I sup- 
pose you know his character; but I believe you have bad 
characters in your State likewise. A Doct r Kilham of 
Newbury Port, I am informed, came to Exeter the day 
the Convention adjourned with a large number of the 
phamphlets that were wrote at York, & gave them to M r 
Atherton, & he dispersed them amongst his party. If that 
was not base conduct, what is? 

Inclosed is the Spy, with the list of the members. I 
cannot now mark which are Anti, &c. ; but if I can be in- 
formed will let you know. The schedule you inclosed I 
will attend to the first oppertunity that offers. 
I am, dear S r , your most hum. serv fc , 

Jeremiah Libbey. 

1788.] BENJAMIN RUSH. 397 


The Rev d M r Jeremy Belknap, Boston, 

Philadelphia, Feb. 28 th , 1788. 

Dear Sir, — In answer to your question respecting 
the conduct & opinions of the Quakers in Pennsylvania, 
I am very happy in being able to inform you that they 
are all (with an exception of three or four persons only) 
highly Federal. There was a respectable representation 
of that society in our Convention, all of whom voted in fa- 
vor of the new Constitution. They consider very wisely 
that the abolition of slavery in our country must be grad- 
ual in order to be effectual, and that the section of the 
Constitution which will put it in the power of Congress 
twenty years hence to restrain it altogether was a great 
point obtained from the Southern States. The appeals, 
therefore, that have been made to the humane & laudable 
prejudices of our Quakers by our Antifsederal writers 
upon the subject of negro slavery, have been treated by 
that prudent society with silence and contempt. 

Some of the same reasons have operated upon me that 
have influenced you to admire & prefer the new gover- 
ment. If it held forth no other advantages that [than?] 
a future exemption from paper money & tender laws, it 
would be eno' to recommend it to honest men. To look 
up to a goverment that encourages virtue, establishes 
justice, insures order, secures property, and protects from 
every species of violence, affords a pleasure that can 
only be exceeded by looking up in all circumstances to a 
General Providence. Such a pleasure, I hope, is be- 
fore us & our posterity under the influence of the new 

The arguments, or, to express myself more properly, 
the objections of your minority were in many respects 
the same as those which were urged by the speakers in 


behalf of the minority of Pennsylvania. They both sup- 
pose that the men who are to be entrusted with the 
supreme power of our country will become at once the 
receptacles of all the depravity of human nature. They 
forget that they are to be part of ourselves, and if we 
may judge of their future conduct by what we have too 
often observed in the State governments, the members 
of the Faederal legislature will much oftener injure their 
constituents by voting agreeably to their inclinations 
than against them. 

But in cherishing jealousies of our rulers we are too 
apt to overlook the weaknesses & vices of the people. Is 
not history as full of examples of both in them, as it is 
of the crimes of kings ? What is the present moral 
character of the inhabitants of the United States? I 
need not describe it. It proves too plainly that the people 
are as much disposed to vice as their rulers, and that 
nothing but a vigorous & efficient goverment can pre- 
vent their degenerating into savages, or devouring each 
other like beasts of prey. 

I pant for the time when the establishment of the new 
goverment, and the safety to individuals which shall 
arise from it, shall excuse men who like myself wish only 
to be passengers from performing the duty of sailors on 
board the political ship in which ou[r all] is embarked. 
I have yeilded to a deep sense of [the ex]treme danger 
of my country, in quitting the [cabin ?] for a station at 
the pump. As soon as the storm is over, and our bark 
safely moored, the first wish of my heart will be to de- 
vote the whole of my time to the peaceable pursuits of 
science, and to the pleasures of social and domestic life. 

With great respect, I have the honor to be, dear Sir, 
your affectionate, humble servant, 

Benj n Rush. 

The Rev* M r Belknap. 

1788.] JEDIDIAH MORSE. 399 


New Haven, 3 d March, 1788. 

Reverend Sir, — I received your fav r of the 11 th ult mo 
via New York in due season, for whh. I sincerely thank 
you. Your remarks, &c. came enclosed, & were such as 
answered my expectations & wishes. The MS. acc fc of 
N. Hamp. I had rec d before by Mr. Morse, & take this 
opportunity to return you my thanks for your corrections. 

I am very sorry to hear of the declining state of my 
worthy friend, M r Payne.* He appeared to be in good 
health last Sep* when I had the pleasure of seeing him at 
N. Haven. His decay must have been sudden. Should 
he be cut off thus early in life, (whh. may Heaven pre- 
vent !) his congregation at . Charleston would sustain a 
loss whh. could not easily be made up to them. Are his 
complaints of the pulmonary kind ? If they are, he might 
receive great benefit from a Southern tour. I am per- 
sonally acquainted with several gentlemen who have 
been radically cured after they have been apparently far 
gone with the consumption. 

While I was in Georgia, a D r Brickie, an ingenious & 
philosophical gentleman, favored me with his observations 
on the climate of Georgia as it respected consumptive 
persons. As they possibly may be of some service to 
Mr. Payne, if he is afflicted with a pulmonary disorder, 
I shall take the liberty to enclose them, in his own hand- 
writing. When, Sir, you have made what use of them 
you think proper, I will thank you to return them, as it is 
the only copy I have. 

I have sketched my ace* of Mass* 8 , & by your permission 
I enclose it for your inspection & correction without 

* Rev. Joshua Paine, Jr., minister of the First Church in Charlestown, Mass., was born 
in Sturbridge, graduated at Harvard College in 1784, was ordained Jan. 10, 1787, and died 
Feb. 27, 1788, aged twenty-five. "His disease was the consumption, which he contracted 
by stooping over a low table, upon which he was accustomed to write in his study." (See 
Budington's History of the First Church, Charlestown, pp. 143-147, 238.) — Eds. 


" apologies or excuses," — not because they are not needed, 
but because your politeness and candor, & your zeal for 
the promotion of literature, will induce you to make them 
on my behalf, & thereby save me the trouble. I send 
you, Sir, the first & only draught I have of Mass 48 , in like 
manner & for the same reasons as I sent you my only 
draught of N. Hampshire. I got a part of the Hist, of 
Mass t9 copied, whh. I fear will be hardly legible. I have 
not time to re-copy it. 

I expect shortly to go to New York with a view of 
tarrying some months in the vacancy made by Mr. Wil- 
son. If you will please to enclose the enclosed MS. to 
Mr. Hazard, the Post Master, (who has in many instances 
of the like kind been very friendly & obliging,) it will 
come safely, & will very probably find me at New York. 

Besides a particular acc fc of each of the New Eng d States 
I purpose to give a general ace* of New Eng d . If it 
would not intrude to much on your better employm 48 , I 
should be glad to submit that ace* to your inspection some 
time hereafter. 

With great respect & esteem, I am, rev d Sir, your most 
obd fc & very humble seiV, 

Jed. Morse. 

Rev'd Mr. Belknap. 


Philad a , April 12, 1788. 

Loving Cousin, — I received some time since a kind 
letter from you which gave me pleasure. As to my com- 
ing to Boston, which you seem to wish, and I also, I 
begin to doubt its being ever accomplish'd. Such a jour- 
ney at my age would be attended with much inconve- 
nience & hardship, and might, with the malady I have, be 
dangerous. At present I am in my place, have all my 
conveniencies and comforts about me, and it seems most 

1788.] MATHEW CAREY. 401 

prudent for me to stay where I am & enjoy them, without 
going abroad to give myself & friends a good deal of 
trouble which cannot be compensated by our pleasure of 
meeting, since that will be ballanc'd by the pain of parting. 

You need not have made any apology for introducing 
Thayer to me. He gave me but little trouble, and I had 
the pleasure of doing him some good ; tho' he is rather 
an insignificant body, and has turn'd to the Papists, who 
do not much value the acquisition, and I suppose we may 
easily bear the loss. 

My best wishes attend you, being ever 

Your affectionate uncle, 

B. Franklin. 

M rs Colas. 

Rev. Jeremy Belknap, Boston. 

Dear Sir, — I hope you will excuse the delajr in an- 
swering your last favour, which has been occasioned by 
a considerable absence from this city, hurry, &°. 

I thank you for the enclosure, i. e. the extract from 
the sermon preached by your friend. It shall have a 
place in the next month's Museum. 

M r Spotswood paid me one year's subscription for you. 

I now send such of the numbers as you have not rec d 

This letter will be presented to you by M r Reynolds, 
whose chief object in Boston is to procure subscriptions 
for the American Museum. In this business you. will 
have it in your power to render him 'great service, which 
I hope you will kindly exert yourself in, which I shall 
regard as a signal mark of friendship. 

In hardly any other way could you advance the busi- 
ness so much as by directing the circular letters he car- 



ries with him to such gentlemen in your town as are 
likely to encourage the work. 
I remain, Sir, 

Your most ob fc h ble serv*. 

Mathew Carey. 

Philadelphia, April 29, 1788. 

Answer to Carey's Letter of 29 ult., viz. April, 1788. 

M r R. did. y™ at my ho., in my absence from town on a 
journey, the weather detained me longer than I expected, 
& I therefore had not the opp° to do you the service w h 
you desired. However, he found other friends who were 
equally disposed & more capable to serve the cause, & I 
hope his success will answer your expectations. I rec d by 
him the Museums as far as March, & have recommended 
to him M r Hall as a proper person to be entrusted with 
your concerns on acc° of his strict integrity. 

Will you permit me to make one remark on y e Museum 
in the character of a friend. It is entitled a collection 
of fugitive pieces. As far as it is such I much approve it. 
But are y e extracts w h you have made from y e volumes 
published by y e Phil a Soc y & y e Massach sts Academy in 
any sense fugitive pieces ? Were they not communica- 
tions made to regularly instituted philosophical bodies, & 
by them preserved in their repositories, & printed at their 
expence, w h expence unless defrayed by y e sale of the 
books must lie as a dead weight on them ? If copies of 
the principal things contained in these repositories are 
multiplied & published in periodical works, has it not a 
tendency to prevent the sale of those original publica- 
tions? & ought such extracts to be so largely made without 
first consulting and obtaining the consent of the bodies 
who are the real proprietors of y e volumes ? I speak y e 



more freely on this subject because I know the Academy 
of Sciences in this State are much embarrassed with the 
expence of printing their late volume, & have been mak- 
ing efforts to promote y e sale of y e copies, hitherto with 
not much success. I also have a view to the credit & use- 
fulness of your publication, & should be loth to find that 
the members of these literary societies are displeased 
with your repetition of their pieces without their consent, 
or that any other persons should entertain an idea that 
you had gone beyond your professed design, w ch is merely 
to collect & preserve such fugitive pieces as might proba- 
bly otherwise be lost. This design is very good, & I wish 
you success in the prosecution of it. As my intentions 
in thus opening my mind to you are friendly, I trust no 
apology can be necessary for my freedom. 

I am, Sir, with much respect, &c. 

May 17, 1788. 


The Rev d M r Jeremy Belknap, Boston. 

Philadelphia, May 6 th , 1788. 

Dear Sir, — I beg your acceptance of my thanks for 
the volume of the Debates of your Convention. They do 
great honor to your State, and will remain, I hope, as a 
lasting monument of the good sense, virtue, and knowl- 
edge that characterised the year 1788 in the United 
States of America. 

The commerce in African slaves has breathed its last in 
Pennsylvania. I shall send you a copy of our late law 
respecting that trade as soon as it is published. I am 
encouraged, by the success that has finally attended the 
exertions of the friends of universal freedom & justice, to 
go on in my romantic schemes (as they have often been 
called) of serving my countrymen. My next object shall 


be the extirpation of the abuse of spirituous liquors. For 
this purpose I have every year for several years past re- 
published the enclosed tract two or three weeks before 
harvest. The effects of this perseverance begin already to 
shew themselves in our State. A family or a township is 
hit with the publication one year, that neglected or per- 
haps rediculed it the year before. Associations are form- 
ing in many places to give no spirits at the ensuing 
harvest. The Quakers & Methodists take the lead in 
these associations, as they have often done in all enter- 
prises that have morality of the happiness of society for 
their objects. Many storekeepers among the Quakers 
now refuse to buy or sell spirituous liquors. In a short 
time I expect there will be an act of the Quaker society 
to forbid the sale, or even use, of them altogether, except 
as a medicine. 

As my opinions upon the subject of the Faederal 
goverment have been often misrepresented by our 
Anti-fsederal scriblers, I have to beg the* favor of 
you to republish the enclosed extract of one of my let- 
ters to my friend, D l Ramsay of Charleston, in some of 
your papers. It contains my principles, fairly stated. 
I beleive I gave a part of them in my last letter to 

The minority of Pennsylvania have nearly exhausted 
their malice. There will be no opposition by arms in 
any county in this State to the goverment when it is set 
in motion. Mr. Bryan, like his brother Shays, will soon 
be left a solitary example of political insanity & wicked- 
ness. All will end well. The last tiling that I can be- 
leive is that Providence has brought us over the Eed Sea 
of the late war to perish in the present wilderness of an- 
archy & vice. What has been will be, & there is nothing 
new under the sun. We are advancing thro' svffering 
(the usual road) to peace & happiness. Night preceeded 
day, & chaos order, in the creation of the world. 

1788.] JEREMIAH LIBBEY. 405 

With great respect I am, d r Sir, your friend & humble 

servant, * . ' «* 

Benj n Rush. 

P. S. D r Clarkson & his amiable family are all well. 


Hev d Jeremy Belknap, Boston. Free. Jeremiah Libbey. 

Portsmouth, May 12 th , 1788. 

Dear S r , — I congratulate you on the adoption of the 
Constitution by Maryland, and yet hope that New Hamp- 
shire will be of the number of the first nine, or be the 
ninth State that adopts it. I now inclose you the list of 
our members as they stood about three weeks past, by in- 
formation, several of which since that time are said to be 
quite altered from Antifederal to Federal. 

I now inclose you the list of the sizes & prices of masts 
that M r Mark Wentworth shipt from this river. 

I have just been talking with D r Green about your in- 
terest at Dover. We are both of opinion, considering all 
circumstances, that it is not best at this time to sell it. 
Perhaps in another year something will turn up to more 
advantage. When the Constitution is adopted, it is likely 
things will begin to settle to some fix'd point, & then 
a better judgment may be form'd of the value of that, as 
well as all other property. 
I am, d r S r , in haste, 

Your most hum. servant, 

Jeremiah Libbey. 

The Rev d M r Jeremy Belknap, Boston. Fav d by M r Billiard. 

Dear Sir, — Enclosed I send you a pamphflet which 
contains a fresh proof of the progress of justice & hu- 
manity in the State of Pennsylvania. 


Our accounts from South Carolina & Virginia, of the 
certainty in the one, & great probability in the other 
case, of the adoption of the Faederal goverment are 
very agreeable & flattering. The Antifaederal spirit is 
nearly extinct in this city, as well as in every part of 
the State. D r Ewing has attempted to exculpate him- 
self [from] the charge of Antifsederalism, & Geo. Bryan 
(the Shays of our State) is fallen into universal contempt. 
All will end ivell 

Adieu, from yours sincerely, 

Benj n Rush. 

Philadelphia, May 29th, 1788. 


The Reverend Mr. Jeremy Belknap, Boston. 

New York, 3 d June, 1788. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — Mr. Hazard handed me your 
favor of the 24 th ult mo a few days ago. The sermon whh 
came enclosed was very acceptable. I thank the gen- 
tleman who desired you to forward it, & you, Sir, for 
gratifying his desire. 

As to the enquiry respecting my present engagements 
here, it has already been made in a letter from the Rev d 
Mr. Payne of Sturbridge, & also by the Rev'd Mr. Hill- 
yard of Cambridge. I have no other answer to make to 
the enquiry than that whh. I have already given them, 
whh. was that I had engaged to supply here till the mid- 
dle of August. After that I have no engagements. What 
will take place at the close of my engagements here it is 
impossible to foretell. It is proper that I should inform 
you likewise that I have under consideration a call from 
a congregation in Sunbury, in Georgia, 40 miles south of 

I feel myself much indebted to you, Sir, & to Mr. 
Avery, for your generous offers of assistance in my geo- 
graphical undertaking. 

1788.] JEDIDIAH MORSE. 407 

As a Gazetteer makes a part of the plan I have in view, 
I should be obliged by such a concise & comprehensive 
ace* of the several townships, counties, &c. in Mass ts & 
New Hamp. (such I mean as you & Mr. Avery are ac- 
quainted with) as would be suitable for such a work, — 
such as the distance & bearing from the capital of the 
State, no. of houses & inh ts (if a town of note), in what 
county, when & by whom settled. If any event or curi- 
osity has rendered a town remarkable, I should like to 
have that added to the description, & anything more whh. 
you may think proper to add. 

The hint you was so kind as to suggest to Mr. Hazard, 
(whh. he, at your request, suggested ag n to me,) that I 
had better confine my book to a description of America 
only, is a good one, & the reasons given to support it are 
weighty. I have had the same advice given me before. 
The only reason whh. induced me to think of extending 
it to a description of the whole world was to preclude the 
necessity of importing a Classical Geography. But your 
advice can be followed, & my views answer'd, by publish- 
ing the work in two vols.; — the first to comprehend a 
description of America only ; the second (if it should be 
thought expedient to publish a second) to be an Abridgm* 
of the Geography of the Eastern Continent. I conclude, 
however, I shall say enough (& if the public don't say 
so too I shall be glad) when I shall have published the 
first vol. Last week I put to press a second edition or 
" Geography made Easy." I have written, or shall write, 
it entirely over again, & scarcely anything contained in 
the first edition will be republished but the* title. I hope 
to have it ready for sale in 8 or 10 weeks. 

If any of your literary friends could conveniently be 
interested in giving me information respecting such parts 
of the United States or of N° Amer. as it is not easy for 
me to be otherwise made acquainted with, it would give 
me much pleasure. 


Your benevolence will, I trust, excuse my numerous 
requests, & induce you to pay such attention to them as 
they deserve, & as your liesure will allow. 

I am, rev d Sir, with much respect & esteem, your 
obliged friend & hum le serv fc , 

Jed h Morse. 

Rev? J. Belknap. 


Rev. M r Jeremy Belknap, Summer Street, Boston. 

Charleston's. C, 19 th June, 1788. 

Sir, — I have this day received your agreeable favor of 
the 2 d of May last, for which you will please to accept 
my thanks. Your kindness in making my letters accept- 
able to you is in no small degree nattering to me, in 
return for which I promise not to relax in my endeavours 
to acquit myself after the best manner I can. 

I most cheerfully accede to your charges for whatever 
you may furnish for the Magazine ; also to allow you a 
copy or copies of such articles as I may send for sale. 
If our endeavours, at a future period, should meet with 
success, I shall be happy in embracing the earliest oppor- 
tunity of communicating it to you, when you shall be 
entitled to such a compensation as you may deem ade- 
quate to your trouble ; and if by a statement of the sales 
a share in the Magazine should appear most advanta- 
geous, you shall have a right to demand a one-fourth for 
you and your heirs during the continuance of the publi- 
cation of the "Magazine. If we could encrease the sale 
to about three thousand to a certainty, which number, I 
understand, has been exceeded by those who have pub- 
lished before us, a fourth share would be at least five 
hundred a year. The sale of 2,000 would leave a clear 
profit of l,OO0l a year. I beg leave also to repeat my 
assurance to you, that whilst assisted with your advice 


& abilities I shall not want for perseverance, nor for 
every exertion in my power to promote the sale of the 
Magazine. I shall at all times willingly concur in any 
expences which you may judge requisite for promoting 
the sale of the Magazine, and as the bestowing a few 
copies among your friends cannot be attended with any 
great expence, though considerable advantages may be 
derived thereby, you are at liberty to dispose of as many 
in that way as you may judge expedient. I am pleased 
to hear from you that the Magazine meets with the ap- 
probation of some judicious persons, and must serve with 
me as a stimulus to be the more industrious and not 
to despond entirely of future success. The Columbian 
Magazine will in a few months have been published two 
years, which is double the time former attempts in that 
way have arrived to. 

I coincide with you in opinion that the entire exclusion 
of politics from the Magazine must have operated much 
against its interest, particularly at this period, big with 
events of such moment to this country, besides departing, 
as you observe, from that character which it ought to 
support, and to have been expected from its readers, 
" an historical & political register of the times." - The 
proprietors at first setting out, aware of the consequences 
in Pennsylvania of admitting political articles, were tena- 
cious of encouraging the discussion of such subjects in 
the Magazine, particularly those of a local or virulent 
tendency ; indeed, to meddle with politicks at all seemed 
to them likely to precipitate an unfavorable fate to the 
Magazine, particularly in Pennsylvania, where parties 
carry their political opinions to a degree bordering on 
ill nature, if not worse. It, however, was not their in- 
tention to exclude well written pieces on general politics ; 
but few, if any, ever came to hand, tho' I have no doubt 
but it might have been at the hazard of displeasing many. 
From experience I know the difficulty of pleasing as a 


news printer, which induced me to decline publishing 
the Pennsylvania Herald. My study was to have steered 
an impartial line. This I found impracticable in Phila- 
delphia, as the existence of a newspaper in Philadelphia 
depends solely on the printer's avowing himself and his 
paper devoted to some party ; as a stranger, not supposed 
sufficiently versed in the politics of the country, and the 
business tho' slavish not appearing to me sufficiently 
profitable, I thought it most prudent to decline it. I 
must confess myself no politician, or at least do not wish 
to dip deep in such matters. Tho' not a native of the 
United States, yet, as it is my intention to make some one 
of them the place of my future residence, I feel a greater 
interest in the welfare of the country than to that of any 
other ; and as a citizen thereof it is my wish by every 
exertion of my abilities by a laudible industry to render 
myself worthy of that epithet. I fear politics have led 
me to trespass a little too far on your patience. I shall 
therefore return to answer that part of your letter which 
has induced me to digress a little. As it is now too late 
to commence a publication from the articles you mention, 
besides M r Carey's having already anticipated us in that 
business, in the selection of which he has not steered clear 
of complaints. It has, however, occurred to me, in order 
to make up for our deficiency on the subject of poli- 
tics, to try to furnish a sketch or history of the United 
States from the peace, or from any other period you may 
approve of. This might be given in our supplement to 
the present volume, which will leave six months for the 
writing of it. If your other avocations would allow you 
sufficient leisure to undertake it, I have no doubt of its 
meeting with general approbation, though in the present 
temper of the times, if it were to flow from the pen of an 
angel, there might be some found who would cavil at it. 

Being an entire stranger here, I cannot flatter you with 
the hope that my applications to literary gentlemen will 


be attended with any success ; even to D r Ramsey I can- 
not think of applying without some introduction, which, 
if I can, I will endeavour to obtain when disengaged 
from business. As no doubt you are acquainted with the 
Doctor, a line from you, or the having allowed me the 
liberty to mention your name, would have been sufficient 
introduction, and induced him to pay some attention in 
assisting us. I think it would not be amiss, whilst the 
Lives are publishing, to continue a few lines in the Notes 
to Correspondents soliciting assistance, which might pre- 
vail on such as have leisure and wish well to the under- 
taking to furnish some materials for the purpose. If you 
will send a few lines to that purport, they shall be inserted 
and continued until the Lives are finished. 

When I return to Philadelphia, which I expect will be 
some time in July next, I will take care to attend to the 
mode you have pointed out for addressing the Maga- 
zines to you in future. During the summer months, I 
am of opinion, in case an opportunity should offer just 
at the time of publication, you would stand a chance of 
receiving the Magazines earlier by water than land, from 
southerly winds generally prevailing during the summer 
months. If you approve of it, we may try the experi- 
ment occasionally. I will take care to send you a fe[w 
of] Jefferson's Notes on Virginia. I think, if ever the 
Magazine should be discontinued, a republication of the 
American Plutarch from it must answer, which if you 
approve of, we can have such heads as may be engraved 
adapted so as to answer a duodecimo volume. When we 
come towards a close of the Lives, if the largest sized 
type on which the Magazine is printed pleases you, we 
might take advantage of it by overrunning the Lives at 
that time publishing ; but this might interfere with the 
arranging them in chronological order, which I suppose 
you would deem necessary in any future publication of 
that work. There, however, is sufficient time to consider 


of that undertaking, as it will be a considerable time 
before the Lives will draw towards a close in the Mag- 
azine, unless it should be discontinued, an event which I 
hope will not suddenly take place. 

I remain, with great esteem, your obliged humble 

William Spotswood. 

Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Boston. Free. Jere n Libbey. 

Portsmouth, June 23 d , 4 o'clock, p. m., 1788. 
Dear S r , — It is with pleasure that I inform you that 
the Convention of this State on the 21 st instant ratified 
the Constitution,* and for any thing we know of, have 
the honor to be the State that puts the corner or top 
stone to the Federal edifice. You may say we need 
something to ballance our disgrace before. Be it so, — 
all I wish is to be equal ; and as we have no accounts of 
Virginia's ratifying it, we must be allowd some credit. 

We are all in a hubbub here ; light horsemen, artillery, 
&c, &c, mustered & going out to meet his Excellency, 
President Langdon. 

I must conclude in haste. 

S r , y r friend & hum. servant, 

Jeremiah Libbey. 


The Rev d M r Jeremy Belknap, One of the Ministers of Boston. 

Philadelphia, June 24 th , 1788. 

Dear Sir, — I enclose you an address to the clergy of 
all denominations in America which has been ascribed to 

* The vote on the question of ratification was fifty-seven in the affirmative and forty-six 
in the negative. — Eds. 

1788.] JEDIDIAH MORSE. 413 

me. From the candid & favourable reception which the 
plan for an ecclesiastical fsederal goverment for the ad- 
vancement of morals has met with in our city, I am dis- 
posed to hope for success in the proposal. I beg you 
would reprint it in your papers in Boston, but without 
my name. At the same time, I h[*w»] no objection to 
being known as the author [torn] of D r Lathrop, M r Hil- 
lard, & President Willard. 

With great respect, I am, d r Sir, yours sincerely, 

Benj n . Rush. 

P. S. There is now no doubt of the adoption of the 
Fsederal Constitution by Virginia. 


The Retfd Mr. Jeremy Belknap, Boston. 

26 th June, 1788. 

Your favor, dear Sir, of the 16 th I rec'd in season. I 
most sincerely thank you for your friendship, & wish ever 
to deserve it. I meant, Sir, that you should attend to 
my requests no farther than " your liesure would allow," 
& I knew you had but little to bestow. I thought, how- 
ever, I would let you know what information I wanted, & 
leave it to you, Sir, to give me as much as your liesure 
would allow. I thought perhaps others might be engaged 
to bestow a little. 

I intend, by leave of Providence, to take the tour of 
the Eastern States the ensuing fall, & shall not neglect 
to collect what information I can for the Gazetteer. 

The foregoing letter I purpose to circulate through all 
the States, among such gentlemen as are able & likely to 
furnish answers. 

* This letter is written on the blank pages of a printed circular, dated New York, June 
23d, 1788, asking for information to be embodied in a proposed " Gazetteer of North 
America." — Eds. 


It would be a circumstance very pleasing to me to be 
seated in the neighbourhood of Boston, where I might 
enjoy the weekly privilege of your more immediate assist- 
ance. But where I shall fix is yet concealed in the 
womb of Providence. 

I don't at present think of any " specific enquiries'" whh. 
I would wish to make. When I shall have time to review 
my MSS. of Mass ts & N. Hamp., some may occur. 
With much respect, I am yours, 

Jed. Morse. 

N. B. I have taken the liberty to enclose a number 
of copies of this Circular, Letter, whh. you will please, 
Sir, to distribute as you may think proper. As the As- 
sembly of your State are now sitting, it will be a good 
opportunity to spread them. 

I fear, Sir, you will think me a troublesome & unprofit- 
able correspondent. I beg you would pay such attention 
to my numerous requests as your convenience will admit, & 
such only. Don't suffer me to be troublesome, & then you 
will oblige your friend, 

J. M. 

Suffer me, Sir, to congratulate you on the adop- 
tion of the Constitution in New Hampshire. 


Portsmouth, June 30 th , 1788. 

Dear S R , — I rec d yours of the 26 th with the Maga- 
zines. The letter for D r Stephens T delivered. I was at 
Exeter a short time since, and had the interest & 15 ^ c* 
of your note in a certificate which I will send you, if you 
please. There is no sale for them here at present. 

I now inclose you a newspaper, with the account of the 
procession, &c. on Thursday last. It much exceeded niy 

1788.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 415 

expectation, and what is extraordinary, the paper account 
does [njot represent it greater than it was, but really 
falls short of the facts. The procession of the chaise 
makers & some others are omitted in the ace*. Every 
part of it was very regular, & the whole ended without 
any disturbance. The procession moved from the State 
House, & went down Pleasant Street by D r Haven's ; then 
turnd at the Mill Bridge & went up over Liberty Bridge; 
thence up Pitt Street & turnd by Col Brewster's ; then 
went down Buck Street by M r Sheafe's ; then turnd & 
went into Daniels St. by M r Jn° Sherburne's ; then up 
that street to M r Rindge's Corner; from thence thro' 
Market Street to Deer Street, & thro' that to Vaughan 
Street by the Assembly House; then from the head of 
Vaughan Street to the State House ; & from thence round 
Maj r Hale's Corner to Wibird's, now Union Hill, where 
the collation, &c. was provided. After dinner they re- 
turnd in the same order, by M r Treadwell's & D r Cutter's 
to the State House, where the procession broke up. We 
have copied your State in having a procession ; but a 
Boston gen 1 who was present told me we really exceeded 
you. That, you know, must be a great honor. 
With compliments to M rs Belknap, I am, dear S r , 
Your friend & servant, 

Jeremiah Libbey. 

The letter to Mr. Dean, I have sent by the [wafer cat out] 
post; will speak to the printer to put [wafer cut out] peice 
you mention. 


July 24, 1788. 

Dear Sir, — Yesterday Mr. Cary & ano. gen n f m 
Charleston were with me who desired me to inquire of 
you how soon you could be here, as they have a gen n 
preach g there whose time will be out in ab* 3 weeks, & 



they have a very strong desire to hear you before they 
determine on a call for settlem\ What has been s d to 
y m by M r Paine of Sturbridge concern g you has raised 
an expectation in your favor. I beg you would imme- 
diately let me know the earliest day in w h it will be pos- 
sible for you to comply with their wishes, that I may 
inform them of it, & that they may order their engage- 
ments accordingly. 

Since I sent you y e book w h M r Walcut desired, I have 
did 2 more of y e Circular Letters, viz. one to M r Par- 
tridge of Duxb y , Sheriff of Plym C°, y e other to Col. 
Baldwin of Woburn, Sheriff of Middlesex. 

Indorsed by Mr. Belknap, " Copy to Morse." 


The Rev d Jeremy Belknap, at Boston. 

Philad a , Aug 8 * 19 th , 1788. 

Dear Sir, — Ever since I was one & twenty years of 
age I have unfortunately been engaged in combatting 
vulgar errors or popular prejudices. The enclosed en- 
quiry into the justice & policy of punishing murder by 
death is the boldest attack I have ever made upon a 
public opinion or a general practice. It has already 
made some converts, and staggered many Old Testament 
saints & legislators. I wish to have it republished in 
your papers, for in the Eastern States all improvements 
in goverment must originate. The essay upon punish- 
ments was ascribed to D r Franklin in your papers. I 
have no objection to that mistake being corrected in the 
republication of the enclosed enquiry. 

Perhaps the republication of the dialogue upon spirit- 
uous liquors may do good in your State. The stroke at 
New England rum was intended only for our State ; it 
must be omitted in the Boston impression of it. 

1788.J BENJAMIN RUSH. 417 

I wait with impatience for the receipt for making maple 
and spruce beer. 

Every day brings to light some facts which show the 
effects of the publications against spirituous liquors upon 
the public mind. They say in England ik that you may 
write down a parliament, a ministry, & even a king." I 
have seen a tender and a test law written down in Penn- 
sylvania. Let us try the force of the press upon spiritu- 
ous liquors in every part of the United States. I call 
upon you, my worthy tho' unknown friend, to act the 
part of a pioneer in this business in Massachusetts. Your 
success will be certain, & your reward great, both here 
& hereafter. D r Ramsay will be our coajutor in South 
Carolina. The good effects of our labors will appear in 
the next generation. Habitual drunkards are beyond the 
influence of reason, but young men will feel its force upon 
this subject & act accordingly. In the year 1915 a 
drunkard I hope will be as infamous in society as a lyar 
or a thief, and the use of spirits as uncommon in families 
as a drink made of a solution of arsenic or a decoction of 

Since writing the above, I have rec d your letter by 
Capt. Dagget. Accept of my thanks for it. 

Philad* porter sells for 8/4 a dozen, while British porter 
is offered for sale at 17/6. Good judges pronounce ours 
equal to that which is made in London. It is sold by the 
barrel in the same ratio to the English porter as, by the 
dozen bottles. 

I congratulate you upon your success in bringing back 
the poor negroes to Boston.* I have enjoyed many such 
feasts as you describe in your letter. I love even the 
name of Africa, and never see a negro slave or freeman 

* In February, 1788, three negroes were decoyed on board of a vessel in Boston harbor, 
and carried to the West Indies, where they were sold into slavery. Subsequently, in con- 
sequence of the intervention of Governor Hancock and the French Consul at Boston, they 
were released and brought back to Massachusetts. (See the second part of the Belknap 
Papers, 5 Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. iii. pp. 19-21, 25, 32, 55.) —Eds. 



without emotions which I seldom feel in the same degree 
towards my unfortunate fellow-creatures of a fairer com- 
plexion. When shall ^Ethiopia stretch forth her hand to 
embrace the olive branch of the Gospel ? - And when 
shall the mystery of Providence be explained which has 
permitted so much misery to be in[flicted] upon these 
unfortunate people ? Is slavery [here] to be substituted 
among them for misery hereafter f They partake in their 
vices of the fall of man. They must therefore share in 
the benefits of the atonement. Let us continue to love 
& serve them, for they are our brethren, not only by 
creation, but by redemption. 

From, d r Sir, yours sincerely, 

Benj n Rush. 

P. S. Comp ts to my worthy friend, D r Lathrop. 

The Rev d M r Jeremy Belknap, one of the Ministers of Boston. 

Philad a , Octob r 7 th , 1788. 

Dear Sir, — I am very sorry the publication from 
your letter respecting the negroes exposed you to fresh 
attacks from your enemies in Boston. It was extracted 
& sent to the press by a worthy Quaker to whom I lent 
your letter. Hereafter I shall use more caution with your 

The receipts you sent me are very acceptable. I 
expect to obtain a place for them in the American Mu- 
seum, thro' which they will find an extensive circulation 
thro' our country. 

Our State has taken the lead in making arran cements \ 
for setting the new goverment in motion. By obliging 
the whole State to vote in one ticket, it is expected the 
Federalists will prevail by a majority of two to one in 

1788.] BENJAMIN RUSH. 419 

the choice of Representatives for the lower house of Con- 
gress. Our Senators are both highly Fsederal. M r Morris's 
character for abilities and integrity is well known. M r 
Maclay possesses great talents for goverment. He was 
bred a lawyer, but has spent the last twenty years of his 
life in a succession of public employments. He is alike 
independant in fortune & spirit. In his manners he is 
a perfect republican. 

My essay upon the punishment of murder by death 
has been attacked in our newspapers by the Rev d M r 
Annan (formerly of Boston).* He rants in a most furi- 
ous manner against Socinians and Deists, and so far from 
treating me with the meekness of a Christian, he has not 
even treated me like a gentleman. His arguments are 
flimsy, and such as would apply better to the 15 th than the 
18 th century. They all appear to flow from his severe Cal- 
vanistical principles. It is impossible to advance human 
happiness while we believe the Supreme Being to possess 
the passions of weak or wicked men, and govern our con- 
duct by such opinions. " The Son of Man came not to 
destroy men's lives, but to save them," is a passage that at 
once refutes all the arguments that ever were offered in 
favor of slavery, war, and capital punishments. 

M r Jn° Adams will probably have all the votes of our 
State for the Vice President's chair. M r Hancock ['s] 
frequent indispositions alone will preclude him from that 
mark of respect from Pennsylvania. 

From, dear Sir, yours sincerely, 

Benj n Rush. 

P. S. I enclose you an oration which I composed for 
D r Clarkson's youngest son against spirituous liquors. 
The D r and myself lately delivered a testimony against 
them in a public conference of the Methodists in this 
city, at the request of their Superintendant. The Qua- 

* See note, ante, p. 263. — Eds. 


kers have at their last yearly meeting recommended to 
their members to refrain from dealing in spirits in any 
way whatever. Go on, Go on, Go on, & all will end 

The Rev. M r Belknap, Summer Street, Boston. 

Philadelphia, S th October, 1788. 

Dear Sir, — Yon will please to accept my sincere 
thanks for the solicitude you have been so kind as to 
express for my safe return to Philadelphia, in your favor 
of the 17th of September last. I left Charleston on the 
14 th of August, and arrived here, after an agreeable pas- 
sage, the 24 th of said month. With the September Maga- 
zines I return you the view of the college, New England, 
a poem, and another manuscript. If any other article 
remains here which you wish to have returned, you will 
please to mention it, and I shall attend to the forward- 
ing it. 

It is a considerable satisfaction to me that a^ proper 
attention has been paid to your commands during my 
absence, Young is a journeyman printer who has been 
a considerable time in my employment, and Conrad is 
my eldest apprentice. The term partner has now become 
rather ungrateful to me. I have had some connections 
of the kind in the course of my endeavours on this conti- 
nent, most of whom have used me ill, — if not worse. 

My delay at Charleston has not been owing to any- 
thing agreeable turning out there, — but the reverse ; 
being most ungenerously treated by two persons there 
in whom I had reposed an unbounded confidence, by 
placing goods to a considerable amount in their hands 
for sale, of which I could not obtain a settlement, and 
but a dull prospect left of their ever doing me that jus- 
tice which I have a right to expect. There remains no 


chance of my having it in my power to compel them 
to settle with me, as they have removed the property to 
Savannah, in Georgia, where a tender of paper money 
can be made, depreciated so low as ten for one. This 
has been one of my partnerships , which, instead of deriv- 
ing any advantage from it, has given me such a stroke as 
I shall not readily recover from. The sale of the Maga- 
zine at Charleston is above one hundred, and* promises 
to encrease there. The American Magazine, the contents 
of which has been advertised monthly at full length in 
the State Gazette, M r Timothy's paper, has had but an 
indifferent sale at Charleston, not above five or six each 
month. This I was credibly informed to been a fact, which 
can be accounted for in no other manner than that the 
Columbian Magazine meets with a preference from its 
being first published there, and not from its superior 
excellence, as several numbers of the American Magazine 
have been allowed to possess considerable merit. Nov- 
elty, one would imagine, ought to have obtained a greater 
demand. There is about 24 of the Museums sold each 

I shall be ready at any time you may require to lay 
before you an accurate statement of the sales of the 
Magazine, but think it useless in its present situation, 
which is nearly the same as stated in my letter of April 
last, — rather on the decline in this State. Upon a rough 
calculation, I judge that I must sink upon the Magazine 
above £100 every six months, and the only hope left me 
for reimbursement or profit is from the stock which re- 
mains on hand, and am sorry I have it to say is accumulat- 
ing too fast. The payments I have monthly to make are 
heavy, aud must be answered, which are paper, copper- 
plate printing, engraving, the editor, &c, &c, the weight 
of which I begin now sensibly to feel, and with difficulty 
can continue to answer them, particularly since the dis- 
appointments I have experienced at Charleston. Another 


article which helps to straiten me is the paying the former 
proprietors with new Magazines for their old stock, a con- 
dition they stipulated for on my taking upon myself the 
sole proprietorship. 

In as brief a manner as possible I have now laid before 
you a sketch of my present situation. I am sensible how 
much the Magazine is indebted for your assistance, and the 
interest you have taken in it by endeavoring to promote 
its circulation, without which we must have but cut a 
sorry figure indeed. At the same time I am sorry it is 
not in my power to make you such compensation as I 
would wish. I do not like saying what you shall receive 
for your trouble ; therefore have to beg you will make 
your charge for what is past, and it shall be complied 
with by me. I can have no objection to enter into a 
more explicit contract beside what is contained in letters, 
and in this must leave you to say what mode and terms 
will be agreeable to you, and so far as I think will be in 
my power to perforin shall be complied with by me, and 
more I am sure you will not expect. I must here observe, 
that I would not wish to be bound to any agreement 
longer than whilst I continue sole proprietor of the Mag- 
azine. At the same time, should I relinquish the pro- 
prietorship, will have no objection to be bound to reserve 
to you a one-fourth share. 

I shall comply with whatever abatement you have 
made on the Magazines, but it should not be allowed on 
any previous to January, 1788, as with that month I com- 
menced sole proprietor. To interfere with any dealings 
previous to that period would be a great inconvenience, 
as I would have to account with the original proprietors 
at 1/6 P. C, and dispose of them at 1 3, which could not 
be expected. I think I am safe in declaring that from 
its first publication until this time no bookseller on the 
continent has received them under 1/6 P. C, but as an 
abatement is to be made at Boston the booksellers in other 


States will expect the same allowance. M r Carey's hav- 
ing set us the example makes it necessary that we should 
follow his example if we would wish to maintain a proper 
footing with the booksellers. M r Carey sometimes takes 
hasty steps for which he is sometimes sorry for; but 
I believe he can better afford making the abatement than 
we can, as he executes his work with less ready money 
expences, having no editor, engravings, and many other 
expences to answer. The abatement I think should not 
be made unless a considerable number is engaged, and 
some exertions made to promote the sale. If besides the 
above abatement the carriage also to Boston, with adver- 
tising, &c, it can be scarcely worth while sending them, 
as each Magazine is reckoned to stand us in near a shil- 
ling Pens. Currency. I think it unreasonable that any 
bookseller should expect that Magazines which have been 
abused by placing them at windows, or the leaves cut 
open for the purpose of reading, should be received back. 
This is contrary to rule, and should not be complied with. 

I will mention to M r Dallas your opinion as to the se- 
lection of essays on general politics and the other articles 
recommended by you. A line from you to him might 
perhaps have a better effect. I am afraid he is too negli- 
gent in corresponding with you. I have not seen the Life 
of Baron Trenck, but shall make enquiry for it. It was 
my opinion at the first publishing of the Magazine, that 
the promising a list of the subscribers with the first vol- 
ume would have had a good effect, but in this was over- 
ruled by the other proprietors. 

I will send, agreeable to your request, one dozen of 
Enfield's Prayers at 3/. I pay for the binding of them 
one shilling each book. Perhaps you could have them 
bound as well in your city, and on lower terms, in which 
case it would be better to send them in quires. Jeffer- 
son's Notes and Carver's Travels I cannot procure with- 
out paying ready money for them ; it therefore cannot 


be worth my while to send them. Such as I print myself 
it is worth my while to push the sale of them. The Se- 
lectee e Verteri* and Paradise Lost shall be sent with the 
September Magazines in the Sloop Dove, Capt. Young 

When you can do it with convenience, your account 
will be acceptable, as the former proprietors wish for a 
settlement, in which M r Cist is interested, having served 
you with Magazines for the first twelve months, his 
demand for which is above twenty pounds of this cur- 

I have this day received your favor of the 27 th ult., 
with the. antient view of the Colleges at Cambridge, 
which I shall hand to the engraver together with your 
instructions, and when he is done with the view will take 
care to return it carefully. The packet received some 
small damage by water. I however opened it carefully, 
and put the view to dry. The anecdotes of the late 
King of Prussia that you have been at the trouble of 
sending have already appeared in most of the newspapers 
printed in this city, for which reason am apprehensive 
they will not answer for the Magazine, unless we hazard 
its being observed that our Magazine is made up from the 
newspapers. This M r Carey does ; but he does not pro- 
fess originality. 

Agreeable to your desire I have inclosed a Magazine 
with your letter addressed to M r Sergeant, and left it at 
the post office, as the only mode of conveyance I knew of. 

I remain, respectfully, your obliged humble servant, 

William Spotswood. 

P. S. I shall send a few lines <$• Capt. Young, who says 

he is to sail this day. 

. — ( 

* Selectte e Veteri Ttstnmento et c Prr>fanis Script or ibns TThtoria; ; QuibtlS sunt ad- 
juncta, Catonis Manilla Distich a et G. Lilit P(V(ln<}0(ficn Monitn. Tt was edited bv James 
Davidson. A.M., Professor in the Philadelphia Academy, and was published in Phila- 
delphia. — Eds. 

1788.] BENJAMIN RUSH. 425 


Philad a , Nov 5 th , 1788. 

Dear Sir, — The difference of climate between Great 
Britain & the United States will render it unsafe to trust 
to any English publication upon the subject of brewing. 

The best thing your friend could do would be to em- 
ploy a person to tempt a reputable journeyman brewer 
from our city to take the direction of his brewery in Bos- 
ton. To encourage him to persevere in his undertaking, 
you may inform him that the barley raised in your State 
is thought equal to the English barley, and that it is in 
great esteem among our brewers. I most heartily wish 
him success in his undertaking, altho' that success will 
lessen the exports of beer from our city to your State. 

Spirituous liquors give way in every part of the United 
States to beer & cyder. But we must not relax in our 
publications against them. The perseverance, as well as the 
arm of Hercules, will be necessary completely to expel 
those monsters from our country. 

I enclose you my reply to M r Annan's attack upon me, 
mentioned in my last letter. I have made a few prose- 
lytes in our city. Many of the Quakers have long held 
my opinions upon the subject of murder. M r Ritten- 
house informed me a few days ago that he was not more 
satisfied of any truth in mathematicks or philosophy 
that [than] he was that it was wrong to punish murder 
by death. 

I enclose you likewise a plan for a Federal University, 
to be republished (if you & Dr Lathrop see proper) in 
your papers. 

Let us, my dear friend, follow the advice of an old 
divine to a young clergyman, " by doing all the good we 
can, by looking for persecution for all the good we do, & 
by learning to rejoice in persecution. " 

Adieu. Yours sincerely, 

Benj n Rush. 


P. S. Truth has at last prevailed upon the subject of 
our penal laws. A committee of our Assembly has been 
appointed to revise them. Private punishments by means 
of solitude & labor are now generally talked off. 


Rev d M r Belknap, Boston. To be left at M r Miller's store, near 

the Market. 

Charlest n , Nov r 21 8t , 1788. 

ReV d & dear Sir, — Observe what you mention in 
your acceptable favour of M r Woodbridge. It confirms 
what M r Cary of Newburyport writes of him in a letter he 
brought me. From his caracter bel. he will suit this town 
as a preacher dureing M r Morse's absence. I have spoke 
to him at the desire of the com tce to supply next Sabbath 
and the Thanksgiving Day. He appears a worthy modest 
man. Any of your friends, or others, you are. so good 
to recoihend, will always be treated with respect and 
affection by 

Your obliged friend, &c, 

Richard Cary. 

Rev d M r Belhiap. 

Freedom in friendship adds to the pleasures- of it. As 
you are sensible, my endeavours will not be wanting to 
obtain M r Morse. I send you coppy of a letter I lately 
wrote the Rev d M r Paine, a particular acquaintance & 
neighbour of his father's, intimate with his son, who 
strongly recomended him to us. 

Charlestown, Nov. 11, 1788. 

Rev b & dear Sir, — This town has been lately so happy 

to have the Rev d M r Morse from New York, preaching a number 

of sermons to them. Your recomendation greatly excited the 

* Richard Cary, born in Charlestown, Feb. 17, 1716-7, was a distiller, and a prominent 
man in the Charlestown church. He died in the early part of 1789. — Ens. 

1788.] RICHARD CARY. 427 

desires of the people to hear him. While he was here he tar- 
ryid in my family. His company afforded much satisfaction, 
and gave me a greater opportunity of forming a better judgement 
concerning him. 

He discovers the pious Christian, as well as the judicious di- 
vine. His amiable, prudent, benevolent temper will always 
comaud him affection & esteem. He preacht upon the great 
doctrines of the Gospell in such a clear, evangelicall strain as 
to engage the closest attention & admiration of the congrega- 
tion. His pleaseing manner and address brought fresh to our 
remembrance our late beloved young minister, gone to a better 
world, now the companion of angels, uniteing with them in their 
services and employments, before the throne. 

The people in this town are so fond of M r Morse they will, I 
doubt not, give him a unanimous call, which cant but be please- 
ing to him.« His acceptance of it will greatly promote peace 
and harmony here, so essentiall to the prosperity of any people. 
I will venture to say, nothing will be wanting on their part to 
make his life easy and happy, according to their ability. 

My dear Sir, the affection & regard you have always shewn 
to this place gives us assureances you will not be wanting in 
your endeavours that we may obtain our wishes. Allow me to 
ask for an intrest in your prayers to the great Head of the 
Church, that he would give us such a minister as shall be in- 
strumentiall in promoteing his glory and our best good. 

I remain, & am, with affectionate salutations to you and your 
family, whom I wish every felicity, rev d & dear Sir, 

Your obliged friend & humble servant, 

Richard Cary. 

Rev d . M r Joshua Paine, Sturbridge. 


Rev d M r Belknap, Boston. To be left at Mr Miller's store, near the 


Tuesday Moras, 25 th [Novem.], 88. 

Dear Sir, — Your last acceptable favour incloseing M r 
Hazard extract from N. York is now before me. (Be so 
good to send my best thanks to him for it.) A kind 


Providence appears ; the Church met & was unanimous in 
their call for M r Morse. Yesterday afternoon the whole 
Parish assembled. The congregation unanimously con- 
finnd the vote of the Church. They unitedly proceeded 
to vote his salary, which was to give him a eleaven dollars 
a week (two more a week than they gave M r Paine) & 
his firewood dureing life. When he comes to get a fam- 
ily they will build him a house, barn, & give him 20 cord 
of wood a year. Harmony prevaild. A comittee was 
choose to transmit him the votes. Your letter raisd the 
joy to those who saw it ; for I thot it best not to show it 
publickly before the salary was got thro\ All appears 
easy & happy. 

Now, my friend, does not this give new occasion or add 
to our joy & thankfullness on the approaching day of 
thanksgiveing, — such a union in the parish & such a pros- 
pect of a good minister. Surely w T e cant be thankfull 
enough to the great Head of the Church. 

M r Woodbridge preacht last Sabbath to good accept- 
ance. He is a worthy caracter ; bel. we shall keep him 
till M r Morse returns. 

With affect, regards to M rs Belknap, am 

Your obliged friend, &c, 

Richard Cary. 

Rev d M r Belknap. 


Philadelphia, 4 th Dec r , 1788. 

Dear Sir, — I have to acknowledge the receipt of 
your kind favors of the 18 th and 24 th of October last, and 
5 th of November. With respect to the errors that have 
escaped in De Sota and the Plutarch, I have nothing far- 
ther to say than that they have had two readings by me, 
and the last by M r Dallas, to whom I have mentioned 
what you have observed. Let us have your errata as 


early as possible. In proper names, unless understood , 
we are likely to make errors where the writing is not 
quite plain. I shall make no objections to leaving the 
Magazines @ 1/3, as I would much rather be the sufferer 
than you. Your ace* corresponds nearly with mine, 
which I inclose to you, and on comparison you may 
perhaps find where the mistakes lie. 

I have consulted with M r Cist, and he has agreed with 
me to let the whole of the Magazines for 1787 to be sold 
at vendue ; and I agree to let the remainder of the little 
consignments of books to go also in the same way, in 
order to close accounts. The Mags, remaining for 1788 
had best not be sold by auction, as the want of odd n os 
may render sets incomplete. 

I am to discontinue printing the Magazine, or to be 
concerned in it farther than selling a few in the course of 
business, after the termination of this year ; but have the 
pleasure to inform you that the engraver, M r Trechard, 
has determined to continue it, with the flattering pros- 
pects of new resources, added to which he is a very 
active person for the business. He is to write you on the 
subject, and to intreat the continuance of your assistance. 
I shall ever gratefully remember your friendly exertions, 
without which I should not have persevered so long. 
Your favorable opinion with respect to my undertaking 
the editorship I am obliged by ; but I am too sensible of 
my own deficiency in the necessary requisites to hazard 
such an undertaking. 

I have given the necessary directions respecting the 
College, and will take care to forward you copies of the 
view when struck off, which will be with Dec r Mag. 
I am, with much respect, 

Your obliged humble servant, 

William Spotswood. 

Winthrop Sergeant, Esq., furnished the drawing of 
Campus Martius, with an account of it, and requested 


that copies might be sent to several gentlemen, among 
which are Governor Bowdoin and Col. R. Piatt. The 
latter gentleman's residence I cannot learn. If he is in 
your State, you will be so kind as to inclose one or two of 
the engravings to him, for which purpose I inclose you 
half a dozen. # 


Mr. Belknap, Sir, — Should the publication of Win- 
throp's History proceed, the letter you mention would be 
a valuable addition, and also a letter from Charles II. to 
the Gov., in manuscript, which M r Thom. Winthrop in- 
forms me is in the possession of his brother. I commit 
the manuscript to your care, on the indespensable condi- 
tion that you do not suffer it to go out of your hands with- 
out my written order. Should it be published, I could 
wish you to superintend the business, omit any improper 
passages, make out a table or index, &c. 

I expect to leave town tomorrow morning, or I would 
call on you in person. I will, however, send the books 
you mention by the first safe conveyance. 

With great respect, I am, Sir, your obedient serv*, 

Noah Webster. 

Boston, May 7 th , 1789. 

P. S. Twelve half sheets are printed ; one of them is 
in the hands of M r Thomas. 

Rev' 1 Jeremy Belknap, Boston. P. Wingate. 

New York, May 12, 1789. 

Rev d and dear Sir, — With singular satisfaction I 
have received your favour of the 22 d ult°, and assure you 

* This memorandum, which is preserved with the foregoing letter, is written on a sepa- 
rate slip of paper. The engraving referred to is in the number of the Columbian Magazine 
for November, 1788. — Eds. 



that my esteem and affection for you, formed from many 
years acquaintance, endears to me every communication 
from you as a token of your friendship. I sincerely sym- 
pathise with you & your family under your late afflic- 
tion,* and think with you that the consolation which the 
Christian religion affords, and which . you suggest that 
you have, is the best support. Indeed, it is a sufficient 
support, and one of those incomparable excellencies of 
the Gospel which a Christian parent must be very sensi- 
ble of in such a day of tryal. I have a disposition, from 
the tender feelings of a father, though never in simular 
circumstances with yours, to dwell on this subject ; but I 
forbear, considering that your own reflections & expe- 
rience will better furnish the ideas. 

Dear Sir, I fear that your expectation, and that of the 
public in general, will be raised too high respecting the 
new government. You will remember that Congress is 
but a collective body of men, men of like passions, subject 
to local prejudices & those by asses which in some meas- 
ure are inseperable from human nature. I say this not 
to lessen their true merit, for I esteem them in general 
as very worthy characters, but not without considerable 
imperfections. I am lead into this train of thought from 
what I have had opportunity of observing already, espe- 
cially in the prosecution of the impost bill. This is a 
very perplexing business. The discording interests of the 
different States will impress men differently. And tho' I 
would not a tribute a base design to any, yet I may be 
justifyed in supposing that partiality & jealosy will blind 
& mislead some, & it will be next to impossible to har- 
monise the sentiments of all. The best we can hope for 
is an accommodating disposition in that which will be 
tollerably right. A large revenue is necessary, & the 
general opinion is that it is most expedient to raise it 
chiefly, if not wholly, by an impost. But to apply it im- 

* Dr. Belknap's second son, Samuel, died March 28, 1789. — Eds. 


partially to the several States is the great difficulty. The 
proposed duty on molasses is thot too high by most of the 
New England members, & is peculiarly disagreeable to 
the Massachusetts, as laying a very unequal and oppres- 
sive tax on them. The Southern gentlemen dislike other 
duties, & think this very right. The matter is yet in dis- 
pute. I am inclined to beleive that the duties proposed 
are generally too high for true policy, and wish they may 
be reduced, at least for the present, and particularly that 
on molasses. My reasons are too many to state, & I will 
not trouble you further on this subject. 

Much has been said in Congress, especially in the Sen- 
ate, upon the subject of tittles for the President & Vice 
President. A majority in the House of Representatives 
appear against giving any tittle of address other than that 
mentioned in the Constitution. In the Senate there is a 
majority who are in favor of [a title] at least for the 
President. It has been reported [by a c]ommittee to 
style him " His Highness, the President [of the] United 
States & Protector of their Liberties." I rather think it 
will not be agreed to by both Houses. In consequence 
of this disagreement, the Senate have postponed as yet 
their making answer to the President's speech, which to 
the public may have a strange appearance. The Presi- 
dent appears a most sensible and excellent man, & is 
actuated I believe by the purest motives of love to his 
country. He appears oppressed with the weight of his 
office, & I doubt not that it was with very painful reluc- 
tance he accepted it. Whether he will be able to retain 
his usual popularity, time must determine, but I am very 
much mistaken if he ever justly forfeits it. This week 
the Senate are to form themselves into three classes, 
agreeably to the Constitution, when I suppose by lot we 
shall determine the respective periods of our political ex- 
istence. We have one Roman Catholic Senator from 
Mar viand, who is a very worth v sensible man. He is 

1789.] PAINE WING ATE. 433 

said to be the richest man in America, worth half a mil- 
lion sterling, but is as plain in his dress & manners, & as 
easy of access, as any man whatever. There is not that 
distinction observed here which there usually is occa- 
sioned by rank & property. And tho there are some 
very sensible men here, yet there is not that infinite 
difference in point of ability between men which without 
some acquaintance with them we are apt to conceive 
there is. I must now discontinue my writing in this 
abrupt manner by only adding that I am, with great 
esteem & affection, your friend & humble serv*, 

Paine Wingate. 

Revd. Jeremy Belknap. 


New York, July 6, 1789. 

Rev d M r . Belknap. 

Rev d and dear Sir, — I duely received, and with great 
satisfaction read, your favour of the 29 th of May, as well 
as the discourse with which you was so kind as to ac- 
company it. Had I so long neglected acknowledging a 
simular mark of friendship and kindness from some, I 
might justly have expected that the omission would have 
been viewed as faulty ; but I am perswaded that your 
candour, and, I trust, your belief of my sincere affection 
for you, will induce you to accept of my apology. Altho, 
if you should judge from what has as yet publickly ap- 
peared to be done by Congress, you might be ready to 
think that I have time enough for private correspond- 
ence, yet I have not always found it so. When the hours 
of Congress are over, I am often in company, either 
at home or abroad, or have some business indispensable 
to attend to, or need some relaxation & amusement, 
whereby I am illy disposed to write. Besides, I recol- 
lect your observation that the doings of Congress which 



are published you have come to your knowledge in an- 
other channel, & therefore wish only for any private 
anecdotes that might be worth relating. These I con- 
ceive do not occur often. There has as yet been a good 
harmony between the two houses, as well as between the 
respective members of each house, as could be expected. 
Whilst the impost bill was under consideration, there was 
sometimes suggested a jealousy respecting the different 
interests of the Northern & Southern States. But they 
were kept out of sight as much as possible, & every 
suggestion of the kind disapproved of by the prudent & 
moderate. I believe the rate of duties as finally agreed 
on is as impartial as could be expected, & that no great 
complaint will arise from any quarter. The check of the 
Senate has been in favour of the Eastern States. In 
the debates respecting titles the House of Representatives 
were generally in opinion against giving any ; the ma- 
jority of the Senate were of opinion that they were 
justifiable by the Constitution, & convenient, but were 
not disposed to be obstinate in the dispute. There is 
another question which I think will be likely to produce 
a dispute between the tw r o houses, that is, who shall 
remove from office (if there is occasion) those who hold 
their places during pleasure. The Representatives have 
disputed that point warmly among themselves, & a ma- 
jority are for vesting it solely in the President. I do not 
know how the Senate will determine on the question, but 
expect they will think the advice of the Senate proper 
for removal as well as appointment. If this should be 
the case, I think the adherence on both sides will be ob- 
stinate. I know that it is natural for the tw r o branches 
of the Legislature to be jealous of each other, & tenacious 
of their own rights, and the Senate by reason of their 
long duration in office may in some future time be dis- 
posed to extend their powers as far as possible, & encroach 
upon the Executive, as well as other part of the Legis- 

1789.] BENJAMIN RUSH. 435 

lative power; but at present I am perswaded there is 
no such disposition. And I believe that the people in 
general will often derive considerable advantages from 
the check of the Senate over so numerous a branch of 
government as the other house will consist of. Their 
decisions will sometimes be in danger of being tumultuous, 
& may be the sudden effects of heat & party. The Senate 
being a smaler & older body of men, & being appointed 
equally from the small & large States, will be more likely 
to be deliberate & impartial. This, you may say, is owing 
to my partiality. It may be so, & I will say no more 
about it. The theological part of your letter is very 
agreeable to my sentiments & very pleasing to me, but I 
can add nothing upon that subject which will be new to 
you. I thank you for your Sermon, which I have read 
with attention & pleasurj, as I shall every communi- 
cation from you. Please to make my compliments to 
M rs Belknap, also to M r Elliott & M r Clarke. I hope to 
have the pleasure of seeing you all well in Boston by the 
beginning of Sep r , and am, with much affection & esteem, 
your very respectful friend & humble servant, 

Paine Wingate. 


Philad a , July 13 tb , 1789. 

Dear Sir, — M r Hall, the printer, has neglected hith- 
erto to republish the essay upon Spirits, probably from 
an opinion than [that ?] it is less necessary than formerly. 
Much less rum will be used this year than last in this & 
the adjoining States of New Jersey, Delaware, & Mary- 
land. From the influence of the Quakers & Methodists 
in checking this evil, I am disposed to believe that the 
business must be effected finally by religion alone. 
Human reason has been employed in vain, & the conduct 
of New England in Congress has furnished us with a mel- 


ancholly proof that we have nothing to hope from the in- 
fluence of law in making men wise and sober. Let these 
considerations lead us to address the heads & governing 
bodies of all the churches in America upon the subject. 
I have born a testimony (by particular desire) at a Meth- 
odist Conference against the use of ardent spirits, & I 
hope with effect. I have likewise written to the Roman 
Catholic Bishop, D r Carroll, in Maryland, to set an asso- 
ciation on foot against them in his society. I have re- 
peatedly insisted upon a public testimony being published 
against them by the Presbyterian Synod of this city, and 
have suggested to our good Bishop, D r White, the neces- 
sity of the Episcopal Church not standing neuter in this 
interesting business. Go thou, my friend, & in your circle 
of influence or acquaintance, " Do likewise." 

You will find an essay upon the inutility of the Latin 
& Greek languages in the last number of the Museum, 
which has been ascribed to me. I wish it could be 
republished in Boston. It has some able advocates in 
this city, particularly D r Franklin, M r Clymer, & M r Coxe. 

Accept of my thanks for your kind inquiries respecting 
my health. Thro' divine goodness I have escaped, last 
spring, an attack of a disease in my lungs which for many 
years has visited me in different forms nearly every year. 
I am, however, still feeble, & by no means equal in point 
of bodily exertion to all my public and professional duties. 
I thank God I enjoy, notwithstanding, good spirits and 
the support of a hope which looks with composure, & 
sometimes with joy, beyond the grave. 

I am now preparing an address to be delivered before 
the visitors of the Young Ladies Academy in this city 
at the next quarterly examination, " Upon the Necessity 
k Advantages of teaching Children to read by Means of 
the Bible." I consider this as a matter of more importance 
in the world than keeping up a regular Gospel ministry, 
& yet, strange to tell ! there are religious men & even 

1789.] JOHN ADAMS. 437 

ministers of the Gospel who disapprove of it. The great 
enemy of the salvation of man, in my opinion, never in- 
vented a more effectual means of extirpating Christianity 
from the world than by persuading mankind that it was 
improper to read the Bible at schools. 

The more I attend to the methods in which education 
is conducted in our country, the more I am disposed to 
suspect that our schools & colleges do more harm than 
good to the interests of humanity, virtue, and religion. 
What are Latin & Greek, and mathematicks & philosophy, 
if they do not lead us nearer to the Parent of the universe 
and the Source & Centre of all perfection & happiness ? 
From, d r Sir, yours sincerely, 

Benj n Rush. 


New York, July 24, 1789. 

Dear Sir, — I have this morning received your letter 
of the 18 th . George Chalmers I have seen in London. 
He is a Scot, who adventured to Maryland and practised 
law. When hostilities commenced he fled to the British 
army in N. York. He has much of the scornful, fas- 
tidious temper of his nation ; has been a very bitter 
Tory; but is a laborious writer. There is no second 
volume of his Annals, and as he has had the art of 
obtaining some employment under the present Ministry, 
I suppose it probable that he will neither find profit 
nor pleasure to tempt him to labour longer at Annals. 

Mr. Fenno asked my leave to publish the letters to 
Kalkoen, and I consented. There was never any other 
reason for printing them more than a dozen volumes 
of others but this, that the orig-inals of them were on 
loose papers instead of proper letter books, and con- 
sequently in continual danger of being lost. M r Jay 
has surprised me since I came here by shewing me six 


folio volumes of my dispatches to Congress, recorded 
in a beautiful hand. He has taken the same prudent 
care of the dispatches of all the other American Min- 
isters abroad, so that this branch of our history is well 
secured. Private letters, however, are often wanted as 
commentaries on publick ones, and many, I fear, will be 
lost, which would be necessary to shew the secret springs. 

There are several circumstances, which I wish were 
preserved somewhere, of much importance to this end, 
which are in danger of being lost ; — respecting the op- 
position to Bernard and Hutchinson and British Ministers 
and measures in the Massachusetts ; to the formation 
of the union of the Colonies in 1774; to the organization 
of our army in 1775; to the negotiations in France and 
Holland ; and to many other events. 

Some of these ought not to be public, but they ought 
not to be lost. My experience has very much dimin- 
ished my faith in the veracity of History ; it has con- 
vinced me that many of the most important facts are 
concealed ; some of the most important characters but 
imperfectly known ; many false facts imposed on his- 
torians and the world ; and many empty characters 
displayed in great pomp. All this, I am sure, will 
happen in our American history. 

The idea that a party or faction should demolish thirteen 
established governments, and erect as many new ones in 
opposition to the sense of the people, and in opposition to 
large armies and powerful fleets, is ridiculous. 

The anecdote of Baron de Kalb that you enquire 
after never came to my knowledge. De Kalb was in 
America before the war, and not long after the peace 
of 17G3, but it was accidental, owing to shipwreck, as 
I have heard. Very probably he might make such a 
report, that the Americans were indissolubly attached to 
England, to the French Ministry ; but I dont believe he 
was ever sent by them. 

1789.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 439 

After the loss of Canada, the . vast addition to the 
naval power and commercial advantages of England 
allarmed the French very much, and there is no doubt 
that the thought of assisting the British Colonies to 
throw off the yoke occurred to them, as the loss of 
America now rankling in the hearts and tingling in the 
veins of the English nation is every day suggesting to 
them projects of assisting the Spaniards of South America 
to seperate from Spain, Monsieur Le Roi, a French 
Accademician, who had been acquainted with D r Franklin 
in England, upon introducing him at Paris to some 
members of the Accademy of Sciences, said, " Voila Mon- 
sieur Frankland, qui est de ce pays la en Amerique qui 
nous debarrassera un jour de ces Anglais." This Le Roi 
told me in presence of Franklin, who said he remem- 
bered it very well. This sentiment, I doubt not, had its 
influence in procuring Franklin to be elected a member 
of that Accademy. But it was a vague tho' general 
presentiment, and no explicit advances were ever made 
to him or any one else by the French Court till 1775. 

I shall have more occasion for apology than you have, 
if I proceed. The oftener you write me, and the more 
you enquire of me, the more you will oblige, Sir, your 
most obedient, 

John Adams. 

The Rev d M r Belknap. 


Boston, July 29, 1789. 

My dear Sir, — The originality & independence of 
sentiment in your letters & other writings render them 
exceedingly grateful to me, although I am obliged some- 
times to withhold .my assent to what you deliver ; but 
when your thoughts coincide with my own, there is 
generated a double satisfaction. On the several sub- 



jects touched upon in. your last of the 13 th inst., I could 
write a pamphlet if it were necessary, they having been 
frequently the theme of my contemplation. 

With respect to spirituous liquors I believe some good 
has been done, but much more remains to be done. The 
distilleries here are so ready a source of gain, that, till 
the auri sacra fames shall cease to be a ruling passion, I 
fear there will no end be put to them. The demand from 
abroad I am told increases, particularly from the north of 
Europe, & while the stills are kept going there will be a 
large home consumption. In an excursion of about 80 
miles into the country a few weeks since, I met many 
loads of pot & pearl ashes coming down, & on my return 
the teams which I met were loaded with dry fish, hogs- 
heads of salt, & barrels of rum. The thirst for spirits in 
the back country is so ardent, that in the fall & winter 
they will sell their wheat for this sort of pay, & then in 
the spring & summer following go 40 or 50 miles after 
bread. However, we do what we can by way of precept 
& example, & we do not intend to be discouraged. 

What you say on the use of the Bible in schools agrees 
perfectly well with my own idea, &, " strange to tell," I 
have been obliged to controvert this point with men who 
in other respects are laudably zealous & exemplary in the 
cause of religion & virtue. I am glad you are waiting 
on the subject, & hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing 
what you write. But, my dear Doctor, why banish Latin 
& Greek ? Was not the New Testam* written in Greek ? 
& may not the Greek & Latin Testaments & the Selectee 
e Vcicri, fee, lately reprinted in Phil a & used in the 
schools there, have as happy an effect in impressing the 
minds of youth with religious sentiments as the Eng-' 
lish Bible ? I have not seen what you refer to in the 
Museum. The names w h you have cited as " able advo- 
cates " for the disuse of Latin & Greek are truly respect- 
able. I could also cite some very " able advocates" for 

1789.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 441 

the disuse of the Bible in schools; but both are cases 
which require to be decided by their own merits, & not 
by the respectability of advocates, though they may in- 
duce a more critical examination of the merits, since it 
must be presumed that such gentlemen will not patronise 
an opinion of so much consequence without very good 
reasons. I can conceive, & am by my own experience 
& observation persuaded, that, by a judicious attention 
to students while they are learn 2 the Biblian Greek & 
Latin, there may arise such a variety of questions and 
observations as may not only make the study entertaining 
but instructive, & that they may by gentle degrees be 
led into an acquaintance with & veneration for the char- 
acter & work of our blessed Savior at the same time that 
they are reciting the language in which his Evange- 
lists & Apostles wrote, or into w h their works have been 

That schools & colleges may be better conducted than 
at present I am fully persuaded. It is, however, difficult, 
& in some cases impracticable, to alter old foundations, but 
were I to be consulted in the establishment of a new col- 
lege, I should utterly discard the residing of the students 
in barracks, their eating in common, & the establishment 
of academical discipline seperate from municipal law. I 
would have students reside in sober, decent families, & 
be under the same government with their fellow citizens. 
At stated hours they should resort to the public rooms to 
^perform their exercises, & they should receive the honours 
of the University when they are qualified. Are not your 
universities upon some such plan? Ours partakes too 
much of the nature of a monastic institution, &, like an 
antique building, needs many subsidiary props & addi- 
tional repairs. However, there are great advantages to 
be reaped by an education in it, provided the students 
give their minds to their business, & without that no 
means will be effectual. There is a special injunction 


laid on the Professors to take frequent occasion to intro- 
duce reflections on the Being, Perfections, & Providence 
of the Creator, & I believe this injunction is strictly at- 
tended to, as well by the Professor of N. P. as those of 
Anatomy & Botany, & these occasions perpetually oc- 
cur, for 

" There's not a plant or flower that grows 

But makes his glories known. . . . 
While clouds arise & tempests blow 

By order from his throne." 

The main business of all philosophical researches is to fix 
our attention to the great " Cause uncaus'd,'' & the 
deeper we penetrate the arcana of Nature, the more 
reason do we find for wonder, love, & praise. 

Indorsed, " Copy to D r Rush." 


New York, Augt 1, 1789. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — Your favour of July 18 has been 
received, and demands of me an acknowledgement for 
those affectionate expressions of esteem & friendship 
which it contains. May our mutual love long continue, 
increase, & be productive of good fruits. 

The respect which you express for Congress and their 
doings reminds me of those sentiments of veneration & 
attachment for government which once were universally, 
prevalent in this country. Perhaps that unbounded con- 
fidence in those who steer the political ship may be best 
as it respects the bulk of the people ; but I hope there 
will always be wise, firm, & virtuous citizens who will 
watch the public measures, & not be blind to the errors 
oi* fail to censure the misdoings of their governors. This, 
& this alone, can preserve rational liberty. The lust of 
power is natural to man, & rulers have their imperfections 

1789.] PAINE WINGATE. 443 

& their vices as well as others, I say not this to dispar- 
age that body to which I have the honor to belong. I 
believe it to consist of worthy, sensible, & honest men in 
general, & not governed by aspiring or sordid views, but 
I do not find that vast difference between men that we 
are ready [to] think there is before some experience & 
observation of them. The President, I think, is very 
justly admired for his consummate prudence, & the good- 
ness of his heart manifested in his love to his country, 
and we may expect everything from him which a good 
President can do. Congress have been rather slow in 
their progress, but the road they had to travel was new 
& filled with obstructions. I think, when the habits of 
doing Congressional business are more formed, we shall 
be more expeditious. You seem to be surprised at my 
suggesting an expectation of returning in Sep r , & ask 
if it is to be an adjournment ? I hope so. It appears 
now to be the prevailing opinion that many good pur- 
poses may be answered by our going home for about 
three months, & postponing until we return such business 
as will admit of delay. What is immediately indispensi- 
ble I hope by that time will be dispatched. 

I received the enclosed paper with your letter contain- 
ing proposals for printing, &c. ; I shewed it to the Vice 
President & Senators, & most of those present subscribed, 
including the list of names as far as Mr. King. The re- 
maining part of the subscribers are all members of the 
other House. I conclude that you will be able to asser- 
tain their places of abode. Dr. Johnson observed to me 
that, tho he should subscribe, yet he doubted the expe- 
diency or propriety of publishing the whole Journal of 
Governor Winthrop ; that he understood from the late 
Governor Trumble there were many things in it of a 
trivial nature, & such as would be injurious to the mem- 
ory of the author & wound the feelings of his friends ; 
and that the most valuable parts had already been ex- 


true ted & published. I mention this only that you may 
be informed of the D r8 sentiment, & you will judge & act 
as you shall think proper. I mentioned the subscription 
paper to the Postmaster General. He told me that he 
had subscribed some time ago, & supposed that M r Web- 
ster had obtained all the subscriptions that were to be 
had among the citizens. I therefore shewed the paper 
to none but members of Congress. If the small number 
which I have obtained will be of any service, or gratify 
your wishes, I shall be happy in being the instrument. I 
am sorry that Mr. Tappan is involved again in a dispute 
with Mr. Spring. I think it will make him a great deal 
of trouble for little or no good. I wish they did not 
think so much alike as I conceive they do, & then I be- 
lieve M r Tappan might manage his antagonist to better 

I am very glad that M r Smith has succeeded thro your 
kind offices in obtaining his decree. 

The bill which you enquire concerning is, I believe, re- 
ported in the House of Representatives, but has not yet 
been taken up & considered in either house. The reve- 
nue laws have commanded the attention of Congress as 
most necessary, & now the judicial bill will next be at- 
tended to. But the shorter bills will soon be passed, 
when the other is out of the way. I am in opinion with 
you, that the public libraries are proper repositories where 
may be preserved printed papers simular to the Journals 
of Congress, which in time may be found in very few 
hands. At present the journals of the old Congress are 
so disposed of that there are very few, if any, setts re- 
maining in the Secretaries' Office, so that your proposal 
could not be complied with without a new impression, 
which I hardly think worth while. The new journals 
might easily be deposited in the manner you mention. 
The Executives of each State always have the journals 
& laws sent to them, & they are preserved by the re- 

1789.] MICHAEL JOY. 445 

spective Secretaries. I think of nothing remarkable to 
communicate to you. I desire my compliments to M rs 
Belknap, & to my good friends M r Elliott & M r Clark, and 
am very affectionately your friend & humble servant, 

Paine Wingate. 

Rev d M r Belknap. 


Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Boston. Cap* Scott. 

London, 7 Aug*, 1789. 

Sir, — A few days after my arrival I communicated to 
M r Dilly the contents of the letters I received from you 
& M r Hazard on the eve of my departure from America. 
An author having printed & published abroad has no ex- 
clusive copyright in the work in Great Britain, conse- 
quently can vest none in any bookseller here ; but every 
person may of right republish in this kingdom a book 
printed abroad. This will apply to both your intended 
publications. It is the opinion of M r Dilly, that a suffi- 
cient number of copies of the History could not be 
vended here to defray the expence of printing, &c. 
Some, however, would sell, & when you have published 
the 2 d volume, if you incline to consign a number of sets 
to him, he will do what he can for your advantage. How 
far the Foresters would take with the public here, no 
judgement can be formed before the completion of the 

Dilly is a man of candour, & you may confide in him. 
I would therefore recommend your corresponding directly 
with him on the subject. At the same time I shall most 
readily contribute anything in my power to promote a 
work I wish accomplished. The History as a depot of 

* Michael Joy was a native of Boston, where he was born Sept. 15, 1754, and graduated 
at Harvard College in 1771. Subsequently he went to England, and in 1816 he was elected 
a Corresponding Member of the Historical Society. He continued to live abroad, in Lon- 
don and at other places, until his death, July 10, 1825. — Eds. 


State Papers will be usefull to some, but as it developes 
the opinions & mind of man thro' the interesting period 
of which you treat it interests all. There is, you must 
be sensible, a fashion in reading ; the present rage, next 
to politics, is for natural history. The more of this, 
therefore, you introduce, the more will you attract the 
present class of readers. Topographical descriptions, re- 
marks on the climates, soils, minerals, marine produc- 
tions, indigenous vegetables, & animals, are sought for & 
read with eagerness. I think I mentioned to you the 
pleasure I received from " the account of the White 
Mountain." A full account of the aborigines of N. 
Hampshire would be a most desireable & interesting, as 
well as natural, appendix to the History. 
With cordial wishes for its success, I am, Sir, 

Very faithfully y rs , 

M. Joy. 

Mr. J. Belknap. 


The Rev d Jeremy Belknap, care of M r Sam 1 Blagge, Boston. With 
a bundle of books. 

New York, 26 th August, 1789. 

Reverend Sir, — I am safely arrived in this city with 
my good woman, & with pleasure reflect on the many 
agreable acquaintances I have made during my journey 
from home. I do not, like ordinary travellers, mark my 
stages by the inns I have stop'd at, or the bills of fare 
presented to me, but rather by the friends I may have 
formed & the characters to whom 1 have been introduced. 

* John Pintard was born in New York, May 18, 1759, and was educated at Princeton 
College. During the Revolution he served on several military expeditions, and was after- 
ward Deputy Commissary for American prisoners. After the war he engaged in business, 
and took an active interest in public affairs and in various philanthropic undertakings. He 
was one of the founders of the Tammany Society, as well as of the New York Historical 
Society, and was zealous in preserving the materials of history, and especially in promoting 
the study of American history. He died in New York, June 21, 1844. (See Appleton's 
Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. v. pp. 27, 28.) — Eds. 



Permit me, good Sir, to say that I consider the personal 
acquaintance with the author of the History of N. Hamp- 
shire among the happiest circumstances attending my 
visit to Boston. I shall with great pleasure return your 
civilities in this place to yourself, or any particular friend 
you may wish to reccommend to me. Any services that 
I can be of, you may freely command. I wish there were 
any inducements on my part to render a closer intimacy 
an object worthy your cultivation, but I know of no other 
than the benefit you may derive from commonplace civil- 
ities, & these you shall always be heartily welcome to. 

Agreable to my promise, I send by Capt. Barnard to 
the care of M r Blagge the 2 vols, of Clavigero's History 
of Mexico, which may afford you some amusement. I 
am so far choice of my books as not to wish to see them 
abused, but do no[t] object against lending them to my 
friends. You need not hurry yourself in the reading, & 
if M r Winthrop wishes to look in them he may find some 
improvement on Purchas's description of the Mexican 
hieroglyphics. I wish to contribute my aid towards his 
decyphering the Dighton Rock, but I apprehend it im- 

I acquired thro unremitted perseverance Morton's Me- 
morial at Providence, & Church's History in R. Island. I 
beg'd M r Clark to obtain these works for me. You will 
be kind en° to acquaint him that I am provided, but shall 
claim his promise of the Merry Cobler of Agawam. I 
thank your son for his copy of Josey Green's Parody, & 
whenever you furnish me with Byles's reply I will send 
the whole to Carey for publication in his Museum.* I 
wish also you would relate the anecdote, to serve as an 
introduction, for I fear least I have forgot some of the 
particulars. I understand that D r Ramsay's Hist 7 is to 
come out this fall in 2 8 vo vols., which will be more inter- 

* See Mr. Belknap's letter to Ebenezer Hazard, dated Aug. 28, 1780, in 5 Mass. Hist. 
Coll., vol. ii. pp. 70-73. —Eds. 


esting than Gordon's crude indigested narrative. I hope 
that Thomas may favor the public with Gov r Winslow's 
Journal soon, as it is high time. I trust the sale of it 
may encourage him to undertake Hubbard's MS., as T am 
extremely anxious to multiply copies of our original 

Be pleased to present my respects to your neighbour, 
M r Clark, M r Morse, & M r Winthrop, when you see them, 
also to your good lady & your little Freshman. I hope I 
did not wound his sensibility by my untimely observation 
at your table. With my best wishes for your happiness 
& prosperity, I am with great respect, your friend, 


Humble servant. is rather an 
antirepublican phrase. 

Rev 1 } M r Belknap. 

Dear Sir, — It is sometimes the case that a person 
will appear whimsical when he hath good reasons for his 
conduct. It is often the case that a person thinks he hath 
good reasons when his friends will think him odd and pe- 
culiar, being without his prejudices, or ignorant of some 
little circumstances wh. have weight in his mind. 

I must beg you as a friend to put the best construction 
upon my conduct when I say that my determination has 
been fixed these several years to be no more cloathed 
with academical honors. 1 am unhappy in giving the 
least uneasiness to my friends. D r Dexter & you are 
among the first in my esteem & affection. In most cases 
I should be guided by your judgment, and trust I shall 
not suffer in the opinion of either tho' I deviate from it 
in this instance. I think I am doing right. I may be 

1789.] MATHEW CAREY. 449 

I have written to M r Arnold, & accepted my place as 
corresponding member of the Society for abolishing the 
A. Slavery, and am very glad you are a member. It is 
an affair of humanity, in wh. we can all be serviceable. 

Your sincere friend & much obliged humble servant, 

John Eliot. 

Indorsed by Dr. Belknap, «' Aug*, 1789." 

Rev. Jeremy Belknap, Boston. A single letter. Post paid. 

Philadelphia, Oct. 16, 1789. 

Dear Sir, — At the commencement of the American 
Museum, you were kind enough to offer your assistance 
as an occasional correspondent; a proposal which, as 
unessential to the plan of the work, I then thought it 
necessary to decline. 

However, at present, if you are as favourably disposed 
as you were then, I should be happy to avail myself of your 
abilities as your avocations and inclination might allow. 

The kind of composition which I would prefer is 
attended with little or no trouble, — requires little study 
and less time, — and w d in all probability prove as satis- 
factory to the generality of readers as elaborate philo- 
sophical dissertations. 

The kind I mean is such short scraps, hints, and 
effusions as constitute the principal part of the Gentle- 
man's Magazine, printed in London. One generally 
gives rise to two or three; and they keep attention 
awake, & give life & spirit to that work. 

To shorten the business, and at once come to the 
point, I think it advisable to mention what I can afford 
to give for communications of this description. It will 
rest with you to decide whether the terms are worth 
your acceptance. 



For each piece, be it ever so short, I should allow one 
dollar, and 1 would wish to have 4 or 5 monthly. 

The whole 4 or 5 need never exceed two or three 
pages. Indeed, in their brevity, I shall regard a part of 
their merit to consist. 

The premium you will say is small, — very small. 
True. But is not the trouble requisite proportionably 
small ? To me it appears that any person of reading, 
capable of expressing his ideas on paper, would find 
little or no difficulty in writing four or five such pieces 
as I wish in a day. 

I would allow an ample field to range in. Subjects 
might be drawn from the ancient and modern history 
of this country, the state of its copper-coloured inhabit- 
ants, agriculture, commerce, trade, & c , & c . But to eluci- 
dations of American antiquities I should give a preference. 

Although I presume that you would send no piece 
unfit for the Museum, yet I would wish it understood 
that I should have a power of judging and deciding 
on the fitness of each production, & not be obliged to 
pay for any but such as might be inserted. However, 
you need be under no apprehensions of a disagreeable or 
frequent use of this power. 

Should this proposition meet your approbation, as I 
hope & trust it will, I request to have a double portion 
for the first month, & that they may be forwarded as 
speedily as possible. 

For the regular payment of the sum stipulated I shall 
appropriate a principal part of the Boston subscriptions. 

The enormous expences I lie under for support of the 
Museum, & the shameful irregularity of paying the sub- 
scriptions, would not, you may rest assured, warrant me 
in offering a higher sum than what I have mentioned. 

With wishes for your happiness, [I] subscribe myself, 
your ob* h bIe serv fc , 

Mathew Caret. 

1789.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 451 


Boston, 4 Nov., 1789. 

Dear Sir, — I thank you for your kind favor of 7 
Aug. p Scott, & for the interest which you take in the 
success of my literary works. I sent, or rather got M r 
Eliot to send, 48 copies of my 1 st vol. to M r Longman, 
of which 2 were by my desire presented to the editors of 
the Keviews, & I had an acc° of 19 sold. The charges 
upon the whole were deducted out of the sales of them & 
the net proceeds remitted. The remainder are in his 
hands, & I have not heard from him for near three years. 
I wish the account with him may be settled, & have 
therefore got an order from M r E. w ch I have inclosed, 
as you see, & should be much obliged by your calling on 
him when it is convenient. If there is any balance due, 
please to receive it, & keep it in your hands till you hear 
again from me, & let the remaining books be deposited 
with M r Dilly, taking a rec* of him, w h please to send to 
me. Inclosed I have written to him, as you advised me. 

I am much obliged by the hints which you have given 
me respecting my continuation. The parts w h you rep- 
resent as likely to be rec d w most avidity are such as are 
most agreeable to me to write ; & as I have now entered 
on the work in earnest, I intend to pursue it as fast as I 
can gain time & materials, the latter of which I am en- 
deavouring to collect from all quarters. 

As to the Foresters, I wish nothing may be said. I 
shall suspend it for the present, since there is no prospect 
of a sale of the copy in England. 

To Michael Joy, Esq. 

* Printed from Mr. Belknap's rough draft. — Eds. 



Boston, Nov. 4, 1789. 

Sir, — By the recommendation of my worthy friend, 
M r Joy, I wish to put into your hands for sale as there 
may be opportunity some copies of the first volume of 
my History of New Hampshire, & when the 2 d vol. shall 
be printed I will send you as many copies of it as may be 
proper. I wish to know your opinion concern g a sub- 
scription for it. I do not mean to collect any money of 
subscribers previous to the delivery of books, but merely 
to ascertain the number w ch may be necessary to send. 
The work is not yet printed, nor wholly written, but I 
am going on with it as fast as I can, & hope to get it out 
in the course of the next year. 

I am, &c. 

To M: Dllly. 


Bo., 10 Nov, 17S9. 

D R Sir, — Y rs of Oct. 16 found me under the influenza, 
or,, as 'tis here called, the Washington cold, because it 
made its first appearance in the wet weather w ch hap- 
pened at y e time of the President's visit to this place. I 
am now recovered. 

I am always "favourably disposed" to promote literary 
works, & have shewn myself ready to serve you when 
occasion presented & no reward was offered. In answer 
to your proposal, let me sa}', that the kind of composition 
w ch you request, tho' it may seem to require " little study 
& less time," yet must require attention & judgment, & 
may lead to investigations w ch may prove " elaborate." 

* This is printed from a rough draft, od the same 9heet with the draft of the letter of the 
same date to Mr. Joy. — Eds. 

t This letter is printed from the rough draft kept by Mr. Belknap. — Eds. 

1789.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 453 

For instance, a hint or query such as commonly appear 
in the Gentleman's Magazine must be answered, & if no 
body else appears to answer it, it will be necessary for 
your querist to do it himself, or, if anything should be s d 
by another person w ch is wrong or imperfect, it should be 
set right in a subsequent essay. Thus the attention of 
readers will be kept up, & the merit of the work increased. 
What is every body's business, you know, is no body's, & 
therefore it will be for your interest to have some person 
engaged to see y* hints, queries, &c. are properly attended 
to. I do not say this with a view to discourage you, but 
only to introduce a farther proposal in addition to yours. 

Viz., "for each piece, be it ever so short," of original 
composition or compilation less than one page, 1 dollar. 

For each piece do. w ch shall fill one page or more, 2 
doll 8 per page. 

For every transcript from any other publication | doll r 
per page. 

If this proposal suits yon, I will engage as you desire, & 
will begin as soon as you please. I can have no objection 
to your judging what is, or is not, proper to be inserted ; 
it is essential to the office of an editor, but this must be 
an express stipulation, that, if any thing should be sent 
w ch is not judged proper to be inserted, it shall be re- 
turned as speedily as possible, without being copied or 
any use being made of it. 

I shall also expect y* a copy of each Museum be 
sent me free of charge as soon as possible after it is pub- 
lished, & y t you bear all expence of postage of letters.* 
Had my friend H.t been continued at the head of the 
P. Office, I should not have been obliged to make this 
request, but perhaps your connection with M r Hastings, 
the P. M. here, who I understand is likely to continue in 
office, may serve you in this respect. 

* The letter from Mr. Carey, to which this is an answer, is marked on the outside in 
Mr. Carey's hand, ! ' A single letter. Postpaid." The postage was apparently twenty-five 
cents. — Eds. 

t Mr. Hazard. — Eds. 


I think it probable, as M r H. is at present out of busi- 
ness, you may avail y r self of his abilities & collections for 
the supply of y e Museum. 

The Reverend M r Jeremiah Belknap, at Boston. 

Durham, Decern 1 9 th , 1789. 

Dear Sir, — I am honored with yours of the first in- 
stant, & am much mortified that I had not the pleasure to 
see you in your way through Durham, which my absence 
from home at the time prevented. 

I rejoice that you have again taken up the subject of 
the History of New Hampshire, & will make it a point to 
procure you liberty to take copies from the Secretary's 
Office, & will obtain for you such laws & journals as are in 
print. I will also call on the general officers to furnish 
the number of men in the several corps they command ; 
& to assist you in determin[in]g the number of regiments 
of horse & foot, I inclose you the register of the last year, 
there being none published, or likely to be published, for 
the present year, and will deem myself happy to contrib- 
ute everything in my power to assist you in the good 
work, and as you have been so good as to open the plan, 
I will, as occasion presents, furnish you with the best 
information I can obtain. I shall be able at the session 
of the General Court this winter to furnish you with the 
exact boundaries of New Hampshire as lately ran out 
according to the Treaty of Paris, which adds near thirty 
thousand acres to this State, & with that will furnish you 
with some material information relating to the Allen 
claims & the curve line, and give hints of persons who 
will 1)0 most likely to enter into a correspondence with 
you & prove themselves capable of giving you such infor- 

1789.] JEREMIAH LIBBEY. 455 

mation as you wish to obtain. Permit me to assure yon, 
my dear Sir, that nothing can give me greater pleasure 
than the reciving your commands, and thereby having 
an opportunity of proving to you with how much attach- 
ment and esteem I have the honor to be, Sir, your most 
obedient & very humble servant, 

Jn° Sullivan. 

Rev* M r Belknap. 

Rev. Jeremy Belknap, Boston. 

Philadelphia, Dec r 10, 1789. 
9 p. m. mail almost closed. 

Dear Sir, — Your letter in answer to my proposal 
came safe to hand. I accede to your proposals ; but it 
appears to me that two dollars per page are rather high 
for pieces exceeding one page. 

There is one remark in your letter which I do not 
perfectly understand. You say your terms are in addition 
to mine, whereas they appear to me to supersede mine 

I have sent you a short ace* of M r Cushing & M r 
Chauncy. per a late vessel, with 11 Museums, which I 
wish (if necessary) corrected & returned. Biography will 
be particularly acceptable. 

I remain, dear Sir, yours in haste, 

M. Carey. 


Portsmouth, Decern 1 : 17 th , 1789. 

Dear Sir, — I rec d your favours of November 20 th and 
of the 8 th instant, but have been so very sick since that 
I could not attend to answer them ; have now got so 
much better that I shall attend to them. The law books 


in sheets will accompany this. I cannot find that the 
Journals of the Assembly was regularly printed. 1 call'd 
on Secretary Peirson yesterday at Exeter, and he says 
they were not, but that he has them (he thinks in his 
office) in manuscript, and that he will muster them up, 
and will let me have them to forward to you, you to 
return them again as soon as you have done with them. 
I believe 1 can procure an account of the number of in- 
habitants that were in Portsmouth a few years ago ; 
will attend to it, & forward it if to be obtaind ; will also 
enquire respecting the bills of mortality. 

Inclosed is your note renewed, and the certificates for 
the interest. 

The common allowance of rum to labourers here is half 
a pint ^ day, which has been the rule or custom as long as 
I can remember. There are several persons in this town 
that are endeavouring to abolish the custom by giving 
them more wages in lieu of the allowance, as it is call'd ; 
but the custom is so rooted that it is very difficult to 
break it. The attachment is so great, that in general 
if you were to offer double the price of the allowance in 
money it would not be satisfactory to the labourers, and 
altho' that is the case & it is the ruin of them and familys 
in many instances. Yet there is considerable might be 
said in excuse for those very persons when it is considered 
how they are in general bro't up, and untill a substitute 
of beer or some other drink is introduced in general, it 
will be difficult tp get over it. 

I am, dear Sir, with much respect, your hum. servant, 

Jeremiah Libbey. 

The original note was £19.19 

You have now inclosed a note for 14.8 

A certificate for 3.11.2 

A do. 17.8 

A do. 17.4 

1790.] PAINE WINGATE. 457 

You will recollect that some of the interest and part of 
the principle of the 19.19 was taken out of the Treasury 
before you sent me the note. 

Indorsed by Mr. Belknap, " Allowance of Rum to labour^ pple in 
Portsm ." 

Reverend Jeremy Belknap, Boston. P. Wingate. 

New York, Jan. 18, 1790. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — I have received your favour of 
the 9 th instant, and agreeably to your request have for- 
warded the letter to D r Rush. That to M r Hazard I will 
deliver to-day. With respect to public securities I will 
gladly give you any intelligence in my power, as well to 
gratify your curiosity as to shew kindness to the female 
friend you speak of; but I can say nothing at present 
but mere conjecture. Those securities have not sold for 
less than 8/3^ on the pound in New York since I came 
here ; and I am told that now they are sold from 9/ to 
10/, and that the indents are about 7/. The Secretary of 
the Treasury has reported a part of his plan of finance, 
that the domestic debt should be funded anew to volun- 
tary subscribers at 4 p r cent interest & include equally 
both principle & interest. This it is supposed would 
appreciate the securities considerably. I think it is 
doubtful whether the interest will be more than 3 p r 
cent, but a certain revenue will be appropriated for the 
punctual payment of whatever shall be promised. At this 
rate of interest, it is the opinion of those who are good 
judges that the securities will sell for about ten shillings 
on the pound. I believe that there is no great danger of 
their being much lower, & they may possibly be some- 
thing higher. It will be yet a considerable time before 
this business will be compleated in Congress respecting 


the new funds, & in the mean time there will be various 
arts of speculators practiced on one another, as well as 
on the less knowing. If I was a holder of public securi- 
ties (which I am not) I should not sell until I knew more 
of the probable issue of the present plans ; but perhaps it 
may be as advantagous to those who do not choose to be 
holders in the funds to sell soon after the funds are estab- 
lished as at any after time. This is only my mere opin- 
ion, in which I am as liable to be deceived as any body. 
I am not able to give you any tollerable account of Col 
Hamilton's plans, & will not attempt it. By the last of 
this week,. it is expected, the pamphlet will be published. 
I am sorry that you are infested at Boston with such 
kind of priests as you speak of, but think they cannot 
prevail much among an enlightned people. I am told 
that there has been a most extraordinary spirit of fanati- 
cism prevailing last week in this city among the people 
called Methodists, but hope it will not spread like the in- 
fluenza. I can only add at present my affectionate com- 
pliments to M rs Belknap, & that I am with peculiar esteem 

your friend & humble servant, 

Paine Wingate. 

Rev d M r Belknap. 


JRev d Jeremy Belknap, Boston. 

New York, Feb. 5, 1790. 

Rev d & dear Sir, — I have received your favour of 
January 13 th , and agreeably to your desire have for- 
warded your enclosure to M r Carey. His Museum will 
accompany this, which I have read with pleasure, and 
think the most valuable production of the kind which I 
have seen printed in America. The bill for securing the 
copyright to authors is now before the House of Repre- 
sentatives. I have not seen it, and cannot judge of any 

1790.] PAINE WINGATE. 459 

imperfections that may be in it. I shall very gladly 
contribute whatever is my power to have it amply safe 
to reward the labours & ingenuity of the literati; but I 
can easily conceive the difficulty of guarding against the 
evils which you suggest, without infringing on the right 
which the public possesses of making use of quotations, 
extracts, &c. from printed books. I hope, however, that 
the privelege & encouragement to authors will be the 
best that the nature of the case will admit, & that it will 
spedily be compleated to your satisfaction. Since I wrote 
to you last, the current price of securities has rather dwin- 
dled. I am told they now sell for about 7/6^ on the pound. 
This may have arisen from other causes than meerly the 
want of confidence in the public faith. It will be a con- 
siderable time before Congress can decide on this per- 
plexing and important business ; but next Monday it will 
be taken up by the House of Representatives, and per- 
haps some conjecture may be formed from the disposition 
which will then appear. It appears to me that matters 
have gone so far wrong that it is not an easy thing to 
find the right way out, and that men of the most upright 
intentions, who would wish to unite justice with policy, 
may judge & act very differently. I rather think, on the 
whole, that the public creditors will receive as good as 
half the nominal value of their securities, if not more, & 
that there can be no discrimination between the original 
holders & the speculators, however deserving the one 
may be more than the other. Very little business has 
yet been compleated in Congress. We go slow fast 

I have nothing remarkable to add. I desire my com- 
pliments to M rs Belknap & Parson Clarke, and am with 
great esteem your affectionate friend & humble servant, 

Paine Wingate. 

Rev. Jer y Belknap. 



The Reverend M r Belknap at Boston. 

Durham, Feb? 23 d , 1790. 

Dear Sir, — In looking over your favor of the 23 d of 
December I find some things which I should have an- 
swered did I not flatter myself that I should soon be able 
to give answer to many of your enquiries which I now 
find cannot be done at so early a period as I expected. 
You will therefore excuse my taking upon me at this 
time only to answer some of your enquiries which I ne- 
glected to answer in season, for the reasons I have men- 
tioned. You will therefore please to note that the land 
between the strait line at sixty miles from the sea & the 
curve line has been run, the proprietors under Allen 
giving up to the State all the lands beyond the streight 
line, & the State has sold the w r hole of it to the Masonian 
proprietors, & they have also compromized the dispute 
with the heirs of Allen so far as respects eleven of the 
Lord Proprietors, so called, out of fifteen. The line be- 
tween this State & the Province of Main has been sur- 
veyed the last year, and also the lands beyond the line of 
45 to that pointed out by the Treaty of Paris, & it is 
found that there is about one hundred and thirty-three 
thousand acres gained to this State by the new limits. 
The plans & other papers are mugh at your service in the 
Secretary's Office. The lands are now advertized for sale 
in townships or smaller quantities; and I have no doubt 
but you may by application have a handsome present out 
of it for the trouble you have taken to give the History 
of this State. I will use every effort in my power to 
bring it about, you first sending to my care a petition for 
the purpose, which I will lay before the General Court. 
The charter of Whitefield is not lost. All the books of 
charters are returned ; and that town among many others 

1790.] PAINE WINGATE. 461 

is reported to the Attorney General for not fulfilling 
the conditions of their charter, but no prosecution is yet 
begun, as I have heard, and I hope that you will not be 
robbed of this small pittance. The twenty-five regiments 
make about seven hundred men each on an average ; the 
alarm list, light horse, & artillery, about seven thousand 

D r Sir, I have the honor to be, with the most perfect 
esteem and respect, Sir, your most obedient and very 
humble servant, 

Jn° Sullivan. 

Rev d M r Belknap. 


New York, March 6, 1790. 

Rev? & dear Sir, — I received your favours, one of 
Feb. 13, by W Cutler, and the other of Feb. 17, p r post, 
and agreeably to your request forwarded the enclosed 
papers to M r Carey. I now enclose to you a bill reported 
to the House of Representatives for securing to authors 
their copyright, &c. It has not yet been considered, & 
probably will not be passed by Congress for some time, 
as other matters of considerable moment are now before 
them. Whenever it shall come before the Senate, (unless 
the provisions you mention in your letter, & which I 
think are very reasonable, should be inserted in the other 
House,) I will endeavour, so far as I have any influence, 
to obtain the amendments. In your letter by M r Cutler 
you ask of me a service I am poorly able to perform. 
I commonly have to write in a hurry, & suggest my 
thots in a very imperfect manner. I never was a 
member of the Legislature in New Hampshire, unless 
the Congress at Exeter in 1775 could be called one, where 
I attended not long, & have had but little opportunity of 
knowing the public proceedings of that State respecting 


Vermont The ground on which N. H. considered the ter- 
ritory on the west of Con fc River (as I have understood 
it) to belong to them was, that, after running the line 
between Massa. & N. H., New Hampshire was directed 
to keep up the garrison & protect the frontiers on that 
side of the river, & Gov r Wentworth was by his instruc- 
tions permitted to grant the lands there, which implyed 
the right of jurisdiction. But when the King in Council 
annexed that part to N. Y. ? it was supposed the jurisdic- 
tion was legally changed, and the eastern part of N. H. 
had no great objection, as by this time they began to be 
jealous that the western parts by their increase would 
soon overbalance & govern the politicks of the eastern, 
without affording aids to the government sufficient to 
compensate for that inconvenience. Those on the eastern 
side of Con* River & near it had a different interest & wish. 
They wanted the western side of the river to add to their 
strength & importance. Of course, when Vermont, dis- 
gusted with N. Y. for their abuses of them, were deter- 
mined not to submit to their government, & N. H. not 
being desirous to keep them, at the Revolution they set 
up for independency. Still the eastern side of the river 
were struggling to have them annexed to N. H. To 
effect this, they claimed a right to indepen[den]cy also. 
This they grounded on a principle, that by breaking off 
from Gr. B. they were reduced to a state of nature, & had 
a right to form a social compact in any manner that was 
for their own convenience & interest. But their principle 
object was to induce N. H. to claim & receive the A r er- 
monters as a part of their State. The eastern part of 
Vermont wished for this also. But if they could not 
joyn N. H., they wished to have two tier of towns on 
the eastern side of the river to joyn them, in order that 
the seat of government and the weight of numbers might 
be on the eastern side of the Green Mountains. This is 
the light in which I have considered the proceedings 

1790.] BENJAMIN RUSH. 463 

respecting Vermont. Gen! Bellows of Walpole, & many 
others in N. H., can give you a much more circumstantial 
& correct account of the matter. I have now the pleas- 
ure to inform you that the commissioners of N. Y. & 
Vermont are at this time in treaty, & probably will in 
a few days adjust their disputes, & the latter, it is ex- 
pected, will during the present session of Congress be 
admitted as an independent State in the Union. As to 
the confiscation of estates, I suppose you mean in N. H. 
I know very little about them. I can neither tell you 
who were the promoters or opposers of that business. I 
have always heard that the confiscations in N. H., instead 
of being an advantage, were a considerable expence to 
the State. Nobody reaped any profit by them unless the 
trustees, who had the opportunity of paying themselves 
very well for their services. I am very glad to find that 
you are prosecuting your design of writing a History 
of ]ST. H. I wish you health & spirit to go thro the 
laborious task, & that you may meet with a just reward 
for your toils by the grateful approbation of the public & 
an extensive sale of your History. The funding system 
goes on very slow, but I presume it will be accomplished. 
You will see by the newspapers what is doing better than 
I can tell you. I can only add my compliments to M rs 
Belknap, & that I am, w T ith great esteem & affection, 
Your friend & hu ble servant, 

Paine Wingate. 

Rev. M: Belknap. 

The Rev d M r Jeremy Belknap, one of the Ministers of Boston. 

Philad a , May 5 ,h , 1790. 

Dear Sir, — Herewith you will receive thirteen copies 
of my Medical Inquiries, which you will please to put 


into the hands of a bookseller in Boston for sale. The 
price of each copy is to be one dollar. The amount of 
the whole (deducting as much as will be necessary to 
advertise them) is to be applied as a nest egg for a fund 
to establish a Dispensary in your town. If this small 
contribution should not prove the means of exciting other 
donations to carry into execution the plan of a Dispensary 
in six months from the 1 st of next June, I beg that you 
would distribute the amount of the books among the 
poor widows of your congregation. I have only to add 
to this request, that no public notice should be taken of 
the offer made in the first case, & that the widows re- 
lieved (if the money is applied in the second way) should 
never know the name of the person who has contributed 
a mite to lessen their misery. 

The books & certificate of my election into your Acad- 
emy came safe to hand, for which my thanks are due to 
the Rev d D r Willard. 

The year 1790 has been fatal to the benefactors of 
mankind. In consequence of a vote of our College of 
Physicians, I am now preparing an eulogium upon my 
venerable master, the late D r Cullen of Edinburgh. It is 
agreeable to see Science supply the deficiency of Religion 
by acts which indicate that mankind, however diversified 
by country or other circumstances, are all members of 
one great family. 

With comp t8 to D r Lathrop, I am, d r Sir, yours affec- 

Benj n Rush. 


New York, May 18, 1790. 

Dear Sir, — I have received your favour of the 7 th 
instant, and delivered your enclosure to M r Hazard. I 
am very happy to hear that you are recovered from your 

1790.] PAINE WINGATE. 465 

late indisposition, and lament with you the premature 
death of our valuable friend, M r Hilliard. # The influenza 
has been a general & grievous complaint this way. I 
have been visited with it more favourably than most, & 
am now pretty well. I grow languid, however, with my 
confinement here, & most heartily wish to return home. 
You ask when this will be ? It is very uncertain. I 
please myself with the hope that Congress will adjourn 
some time in June, or the beginning of July ; but if I was 
to judge by the business already done, I should not expect 
it before the end of our political existence. The House 
of Representatives have not yet taken up the bills rela- 
tive to the funding system, but I think they will this 
week. It is very uncertain what will eventually be done 
in this business. I make no dependence on any decisions 
already made. I cannot undertake to give you any 
further information on this matter, but must refer you to 
the newspaper accounts. The bill for encouragement of 
literature has passed both houses, with no material altera- 
tions from that which I sent to you. I mentioned what 
you supposed needed an amendment respecting abridge- 
ments, &c, & the gentlemen of the law said it was simular 
to the British statute, & had always been construed in 
a sense sufficient for the security of authors. I enclose 
to you the Museum & a newspaper. I desire my com- 
pliments to M rs Belknap & M r Clarke, & am, with great 
esteem, your affectionate friend, 

Paine Win gate. 

Rev d M r Belknap. 

* Rev. Timothy Hilliard was born in Kensington, N. H., Feb. 28, 1747, and graduated at 
Harvard College in 1764. From 1768 to 1771 he was a tutor in the College : and in April 
of the latter year he was ordained minister of the church in Barnstable. This office he 
held until April, 1783, when he resigned on account of ill health. In October of the same 
year he was installed over the church in Cambridge, as colleague with the venerable 
Nathaniel Appleton, D. D. He died in Cambridge, May 9, 1790. Several of his occasional 
sermons and a Dudleian Lecture were published during his life. — Eds. 



BOSTON, JULY, 1790. 

Dear Ciiild n , — Your present age is the most proper 
season to begin those improvments w h are to last through 
your whole lives. The spring of y e year is the time for 
sowing seed ; and youth is the time for sowing y e seeds 
of knowledge & virtue in the human mind. But you 
must remember that the growth of seed depends on the 
quality & disposition of the ground as much as on the 
skill & diligence of the person who sows it ; so the cul- 
tivation of your minds depends as much on y r selvs as 
on y r instructors. They may teach, but you must learn. 
They may take great pains to instruct you, but unless 
you diligently take heed to their instructions, & fix what 
they tell you in y r own minds, all their teaching will 
profit you nothing. You see then that much of your 
improvement depends on y r own diligence, & it is best 
that you should early form a habit of attention & not suf- 
fer yourselves to be unconcerned & thoughtless. Though 
it is proper that you should be allowed time for diversion, 
yet you must not make a business of y r diversion, but 
only use it as a refreshment to relieve you from the 
fatigue of study, that you may go to it again with new 
relish & spirit. And believe me, whoever does not enter 
upon his studies with spirit will never make any figure as 
a scholar. 

Another thing which I would recommend to you is, 
to govern yourselves ; that is, to take such care of your 
own conduct as that your schoolmaster may be relieved 
of the trouble of governing you. It is the duty of every 
person to govern himself ; and we cannot begin too early 
in life to practise this necessary duty. You should there- 
fore loarn to restrain your passions, to curb your tongue, 
to avoid all occasions of quarrelling, & to preserve a 
decent, sober, & attentive behaviour at school. This will 

1790.] BENJAMIN RUSH. 467 

gain the love of your master & enable him the more easily 
to carry on the work w ch is committed to him. If every 
scholar would learn to govern himself, there would be no 
need of correction or expulsion, the ferule & cowskin 
would be thrown by, & the whole business of the school 
would be confined to instruction & learning. 

And let me add, this is now become a matter of neces- 
sity ; for by the new regulations w ch have been introduced 
into the schools, you see that the number of scholars is 
increased, & the duty of the masters is increased with 
it. Let it therefore be your care as much as possible to 
lighten their burden with respect to government, & you 
will reap the benefit of it in having their time wholly 
devoted to the care of your learning. But there is a far- 
ther advantage to be gained by it ; for if you learn to 
govern yourselves while young, you will get such a good 
habit as will probably remain with you thro' life, & make 
you exemplary in all your conduct, so that you will live 
usefully in this world & be prepared for the enjoyment of 
God hereafter. 

The Rev d M r Jeremy Belknap, Boston. 

Dear Sir, — I enclose you a copy of the Eulogium 
upon D r Cullen. As the printer intends to send a num- 
ber of them to Boston for sale, perhaps your publishing 
one or two extracts from it in your papers may be useful 
to him. It was written amidst many avocations, which 
must apoilogize for its many defects. 

I am perfectly satisfied with your manner of [disposing 
of the proceeds of the Medical Inquiries. 

I expect to send you my letter upon Amusem ts & Pun- 
ishments for publication by the first vessel y* sails for 


Please to tell D r Willard when you see him y t the books 
& certificates he sent to my care were received & distrib- 
uted agreeably to his request. Beg him to accept of my 
thanks for his excellent & pious tribute to the memory of 

Mr. Hilliard. 

Adieu ; yours ; y" ; yours, 

Benj n Rush. 

Philad a , July 29, 1790. 


Philadelphia, Aug st 25, 1790. 

Dear Sir, — You have done me too much honor in 
the edition you have given my little tract upon Spiritu- 
ous Liquors. If it does any good in the eastern parts of 
your country, you shall be entitled to the reward of it. 
I thank God for his great goodness to me in having 
made me the instrument of spreading anywhere one just 
opinion upon that subject. How many more worthy 
instruments might he have chosen for that purpose ! 
And how easily could He have spread his truth upon 
that as well as all other subjects, by means of his Di- 
vine Spirit, without the instrumentality of any of his 
creatures ! 

I have concluded to publish my " Thoughts upon the 
Amusements and Punishments which are proper for 
Schools" in the next number of the Columbian Maga- 
zine. If you think it will do good in your State, you can 
procure a place for it in your Magazine, or in any other 
of your periodical publications. 

The next time I appear before the public as an author 
will probably be in an " Inquiry into the Influence ot 
Tobacco upon the Health, Life, Morals, Manners, and 
Property of Mankind." I have lately discovered that the 
use of that vile weed, especially in chewing & smoaking, 
predisposes very much to the intemperate use of strong 

1790.] JOHN PINTARD. 469 

drinks. The use of tobacco in any way is uncleanly. Now 
uncleanliness has been proved to be unfriendly to morals. 
Many diseases are produced by it, some of which have 
become fatal. The price of it is moreover considerable, 
amounting in a lifetime to many pounds, and the time 
spent in procuring & using it, if employed in profitable 
labor, would yield a hansome beginning for a son or 
daughter, or endow a charity school, or nearly build a 

My defence of the use of the Bible as a school book 
waits only to be transcribed in order to be printed. 

Adieu. Let us always remember that no good effort is 
lost, and that all just theories are practicable. Let us ad- 
vance one step further, and while mankind laugh at our 
visionary schemes to make them wiser and better, let 
us pity and forgive them. Our Saviour thought them 
worthy of his precious life & death. How delightful then 
should it be to us to love those who he has loved, to serve 
those whom he served, and if necessary to die for those 
for whom he died ! Our labor will not be in vain, for we 
shall be the feeble heralds of that Almighty Goodness 
which will finally subdue all things to itself, and render 
the Atonement effectual to the salvation of all mankind. 
From, dear Sir, yours sincerely. 

Benj n Bush. 


The Reverend Jeremy Belknap, Boston. Favored by the Rev d M r Morse. 

New York, 11 th October, 1790. 

Dear Sir, — I am exceedingly indebted to you for 
your present of the Indian Bible, which came safe to 
hand. I shall deposit it, with your permission & in your 
name, in the American Museum, lately instituted by the 
St. Tammany's Society in this city, for the express pur- 


pose of collecting & preserving ever} 7 thing relating to 
the natural or political history of America. A small fund 
is appropriated to that purpose, & should the Society ex- 
ist this branch of it may arrive to something useful. I 
have not time to explain the principles of this Society, of 
which I am a member, further than that it is a political 
institution founded on a strong republican basis, whose 
democratical principles will serve in some measure to 
correct the aristocracy of our city. 

I am obliged to you for the offer respecting the coins. 
I must decline it, however, as I know not how far indul- 
ging a turn that way may lead. Should there be any 
thing in D r Byles's library in the book way suitable to the 
intention of our Society, I would engage the Trustees of 
our Museum to give an order for purchasing them, if I 
could know what the articles & their cost were. 

Among other obligations, the introduction of D r Cutler 
I esteemed as a particular favor. I was so much hurried 
at the time he left this city that I could not write to you. 
In conversation I think I desired him to beg your accept 6 
of Clavigero. I find by the tenor of your last this was 
not done. Give me leave to offer it as a token of my 
regard for you. It is no way inconvenient to me to part 
with it, as I can replace it. 

The perplexed & anxious avocations of a mercantile 
life are little congenial with literary pursuits. My time 
at present is too much occupied to admit of attention to 
books but at detached moments. " Tied to a ducat's dirty 
sphere," I must content myself with grovelling for a 
while in hopes that some future opp° will admit of leisure 
to indulge my natural inclination. 

Wishing you every happiness & requesting my best 
respects to your good family, I am, with regard, 
Your friend & wellwisher, 

John Pintard. 

1790.] BENJAMIN RUSH. 471 


Philadelphia, Nov 1 19, 1790. 

Dear Sir, — I owe you three or four letters, but shall 
endeavour now to pay them all in one. Upon inquiry, I 
found only one of the ingredients you wrote for for your 
friend who wished to engage in the manufactory of the 
morocco leather. I did not send the other, because I 
thought it could not be applied to any use alone. 

Since my last, our truly " beloved physician," Dr. 
Clarkson, has finished his course. # He was my intimate 
friend for one & twenty years, during which time our 
harmony never suffered a moment's interruption, altho' 
we often interfered with each other's interests in the line 
of our business. He was a man of an excellent spirit, 
and much sweet council have we taken together. There 
is scarcely a street in our city that does not daily remind 
me of some pious thought which has fallen from him in 
our accidental interviews & conversations. I attended 
him in his last illness. For a while he was silent upon, 
the subject of his great change ; but a few days before he 
died he bore a noble testimony in favor of our Divine 
Master. He breathed his last on a Sunday morning about 
10 o'clock. Upon being told by M r Green (one of the 
ministers of our city), an hour before he died, that he 
would spend the remainder of the Sabbath in heaven, 
and that the language of his Saviour's to him then was, 
" This day thou be with [me] in paradise," he said, 
with a triumphant smile on his countenance, " yes, and 
I rejoice in the prospect of it." Great respect was paid 
by our citizens to his memory. His house was crowded 
by his poor patients and pious friends immediately after 
his death, all of whom returned from viewing his corpse 

* Dr. Gerardus Clarkson, an eminent physician of Philadelphia, who is frequently 
referred to in the correspondence between Mr. Hazard and Mr. Belknap, died Sept. 19, 
1790, at the age of fifty-three. — Eds. 


with tears in their eyes. His family is now divided be- 
tween his son W m (the doctor) & Joseph, the clergyman. 
The doctor, who is a worthy & sensible young man, has 
succeeded to nearly all his father's business. Life to me, 
in the death of this excellent man, has lost a tie. He 
was particularly useful to me in my religious inquiries; 
for, alas ! I ought to blush when I add, that he was up- 
wards of twenty years ahead of me in his supreme at- 
tention to the one thing needful. my brother! my 
brother ! very pleasant wast thou unto me. My love for 
him was indeed wonderful. But I must stop, tho' I could 
fill whole pages with his praises. 

Gov r Bowdoin has paid the debt of nature. I always 
admired his character, more especially his open profession 
of religion. He did not admire Butler's Analogy more 
than I have done. I read it in the year 1772, and have 
alwaj^s considered it as a monument of the strength & 
perfection of the human understanding. I knew a pious 
gentleman in Edin r who told me that he owed his peace 
& stability of mind in the belief of the Gospel entirely to 
that excellent book. I think it should be placed with 
Marshall's Mystery of Gospel Sanctification next to the 
Book of God. 

I only watch for time to copy my defence of the use 
of the Bible as a school book to prepare it for the press. 
The title of it is to be, " An Inquiry into the Propriety of 
using the Bible as a School Book, in a Letter to the Rev d 
M r Belknap of Boston, by B. Rush, &c." I am surprised 
at Noah Webster's heresy upon this subject. He thinks 
justly upon most moral & political questions. My letter 
to you will be printed in the Museum. 

The great world of America is soon to assemble in Phila- 
delphia. I dread the effect of it upon the morals & man- 
ners of our people. Gen 1 Washington's example is truly 
excellent. He seems not only to believe the Gospel, but 
to feel its spirit. I wish the same could be said of all the 

1791.] BENJAMIN RUSH. 473 

great officers of the goverment. But let us not despair. 
The Lord God omnipotent reigneth, & I hope the time is 
gradually approaching when the republics as well as the 
kingdoms of this world shall become the visible property 
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

M r Hirst speaks in high & grateful terms of you. I 
thank you for your civilities to him. 

Adieu. From, my dear friend, yours most affectionately 
(for I begin to disrelish the words humble servant in con- 
eluding my letters), BenjH Rush _ 

P. S. The essay upon Tobacco is finished, & will in 
due time be published. I expect to encrease the number 
of my enemies by it, but I am scandal proof . To do good, 
it is absolutely necessary to subdue in some instances the 
love of what the world calls reputation, or a character for 
prudence & common sense. 


Philadelphia, Jan^ 5 th , 1791. 

Dear Sir, — Both your letters came safe to hand. I 
shall subscribe for your History, and place your subscrip- 
tion paper in M r Dobson's bookstore, where it will invite 
more encouragement than in the hands of any individual 
in our city. 

In my objections to the dead languages, I do not mean 
to exclude English writers from borrowing useful or ex- 
pressive terms from them. Medicine, as well as several 
other sciences, cannot do without them. By frequent 
use they will become English words, & then they will be 
remembred, without knowing their derivation, as easily 
as words of Saxon or Norman origin. 

I perfectly agree with you in the exceptions you have 
made in the Old Testament, and shall not fail of intro- 
ducing them, with some others, in my letter to you upon 
the use of the Bible in schools. 


We are about to establish Sunday Schools in our city. 
The Bible is to be the only book that is to be read 
in the in. The schools will be under the directions of 
persons of all religious denominations. Of course, no 
other book would have been proper in them. 

Your friend, M r Wingate, answers the character you 
gave him. There is a primness, a simplicity, a morality, 
and an intelligence in the New England character which 
I have always admired, and which I have often defended 
in the beginning of the late war. The Middle and South- 
ern States will become wise and happy only in proportion 
as they resemble the inhabitants of their brethren in the 
Eastern States. 

New objects of industry and business multiply upon me 
every day. How delightful the thdt that the mind of 
man is immortal ! Otherwise, it would sink under the 
weight of its numerous undertakings & imperfect execu- 
tions. Eternity will [be] long eno' to complete all our 
unfinished enterprises & studies, which have for their end 
the glory of our Master. 

I wish very much to see a short & faithful history of 
the establishment of the federal goverment. Such a 
work would display the human mind in all the States, 
and furnish some new facts in the history of man as a 
political animal. Suppose you undertake it. 

Adieu, from, my dear Sir., yours very affectionately, 

Benj* Rush. 


Philadelphia, Jan. 10, 1791. 

Eev d & dear Sir, — I have received your favours of 
Dec. 8 th and Dec. 22, and delivered the enclosed letters 
agreeably to your request. D r Rush has politely called 
upon me & invited me to visit him, which compliment I 
in t end to accept. He is undoubtedly a very agreeable 
and sensible gentleman. It gave me much pleasure to 

1791.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 475 

find that you had so far advanced in the History of N. H. 
as to send out proposals for subscriptions for printing the 
two last volumes. The President when he subscribed 
expressed the pleasure he had in reading the first vol., & 
in the prospect he had of seeing the continuance. The 
Vice President did the same. They both subscribed for 
a compleat set, to be bound & lettered, & paid four dol- 
lars & half each. I then handed the subscription paper 
in the Senate, where there were seven compleat sets, be- 
sides one by Secretary Otis, and five others for the two 
volumes subscribed for, and I received thirty dollars & 
half in cash, which I shall pay to M r Hazard agreeably to 
your order. M r Morris observed that he supposed that 
those who subscribed this way would have their books 
sent to them. I suppose that M r Ames will offer a sub- 
scription paper in the House of Representatives. I hope 
that you will soon have such ample encouragement that 
the printing of those vols, will be forwarded without de- 
lay, and that you will meet with that reward which your 
labour & public spirit very -justly deserve. 

I do not know anything which I can write to you of 
Congressional matters more than you will see in the 
newspapers. We hope to have a short session, & return 
home in March next. I desire my compliments to M r3 
Belknap, and am your affectionate friend & humble 

Paine Wingate. 

Rev d M r Belknap. 


Bo., 12 January, 1791. 

Dear Sir, — Having so good an opp° by M r Sever, & 
hoping that he may meet you, either in India or China, I 

* Major Samuel Shaw, the first American Consul at Canton, was born in Boston, Oct. 2, 
1754, and served with distinction in the army during the Revolution. In 1786 he was 
appointed Consul at Canton by the Congress; and this appointment was renewed by Wash- 

476 THE BELKNAP PAPERS. ' [1791. 

give myself the pleasure of informing you, that at the 
united request of a number of your friends conducted by 
M r Eliot the degree of Master of Art was conferred on 
you by the University of Camb 6 on the last Commence- 
ment Day, & that, in consequence of my nomination in 
May last, you was in the succeed g month of August unani- 
mously elected a Fellow of the American Academy of 
Arts & Sciences. I would have taken out your diploma 
from the Academy & sent it to you by this eonveyance, 
but have been restrained by two considerations ; one is 
the uncertainty of its finding you, & the other is that our 
late worthy President, M r Bowdoin, who died in Novem- 
ber last, did not leave any blanks signed, & there will 
probably be no election of another Presid* till May next. 

You will have all the news of a public nature by our 
friends who go from hence, & I have nothing private or 
personal to tell you of, unless it be that I am preparing a 
2 a & 3 d vol. of the N. H. History for the press, w ch will 
probably see the light in the course of the next summer. 

Will you permit me to remind you, that, if you meet 
with any natural or artificial curiosities proper for the 
College Museum, you cannot do a more acceptable service 
than to secure y m to be presented on your return. If 
among the various articles of Chinese workmanship you 
could procure the image of the divine Joss, it would be 
very welcome. The Chinese hemp is much celebrated in 
Europe; some of its seed might be worthy of importa- 
tion to this country. I am told there are frequently brot 
to market at Canton specimens of curious insects well pre- 
served. Pray do not forget to make y r self master of the 
arithmetical instrument. Cap* Ingraham at his return in 

Ingtnn in 17D0. Returning to this country for a visit, he was married, Aug. 21, 1792. to 
Hannah, daughter of William Phillips of Boston. In the following February he sailed 
again fur China, hut his health compelled him to embark for home in a few months after 
his arrival He died at sea. off the Cape of Good Hope, May 30, 1794. He was an inti- 
mate friend of Rev. John Eliot, and is frequently mentioned in this volume. (SeeQuiney's 
Journals of .Major Samuel Shaw.) — Eds. 


the Columbia gave one to the College, but nobody there 
knows the use of it. 

You will doubtless wish, to shew some mark of respect 
to the Academy. You will therefore allow me to say, 
that in my opinion you cannot do it better than by com- 
municating such observations made in the course of your 
travels as may serve to advance the cause of science, w ch 
is the end of its institution. 

Indorsed by Mr. Belknap, " Copy to S. Shaw, at Canton, Jan y 12, 


Concord, New Hamp?, Jan? 17 th , 1791. 

Dear Sir, — When I embrass'd the honourable pleas- 
ure of addressing you in Oct r last, inclosing for your ob- 
servation some historic hints respecting persons & things 
in this State, I omitted part of my intentions, which was 
to request information what mode among those most 
likely to be adopted by such a multifarious assembly as 
under popular governments generally compose the Legis- 
lature of a State wou'd best suit your inclination for this 
State, or individuals, in a moderate but useful manner, to 
express their grateful feelings excited by your arduous 
attention as author of the History of New Hamp re . 

There are many respectable characters, both in & out 
of Court, that esteem themselves & the State as under 
peculiar obligations to you, Sir, for the undertaking. 
Various modes have been mentioned for manifesting 
their feelings upon the occasion. Some say a small 
grant in money ; others, " Take a number of the books." 
To this last it is objected, that possibly, by taking the 

* Nathaniel Peabody, M. D., was born in Topsfield, Mass., March 1, 1741, and died in 
Exeter, N. H , June 27, 1823. He was an active and public-spirited citizen, as well as an 
eminent physician, and filled many civil and military offices. At this time he was a 
member of the New Hampshire Legislature. — Eds. 


books, it may oblige the printer more than the author. 
Others say, purchase the copy of the 2 d & 3 d vol? by giv- 
ing a number of books ; but all are uncertain what wou'd 
be most agreable to you. I feel myself much engaged 
to effect some measure favourable to your wishes & inter- 
est, but am uncertain what to move for. I write without 
the privity or advice of any person ; and if you will be 
so obliging as to favour me with a line on the subject, it 
shall not be used to your injury. 

And be assured that I shall at all times be gratified by 
receiving your commands, and happy in promoting your 
wishes & the good of my country. 

I am, dear Sir, with sentiments of regard & esteem, 
Your most obed 1 & very hl e ser*, 

Nath l Peabody. 

P. S. The post is waiting, & your candour will excuse 
incorrectness. As the Gen 1 Court are in session, I shall 
be at this place when y e post returns. 
-Rev? M r Belknap. 


Bo., Jany. 20, 1791. 

D u Sir, — I should have been extreemly glad to have 
had more time to consider of an answer to y r favour of 
y c 17 th , but as the post is to set off on his return within 
one hour & a half after his delivering } r our letter, & I am 
all y e time interrupted by company, I have only time to 
tell you that I never rec d the communication which you 
say you made in October. I have lately rec d a line from 
M r Stephen Peabody, in w ch he promises me something 
from you & him jointly on the rising of the Court. 

In answer to your request respecting what the Court 
should do, my first tho't is this: that unless there appears 

* Printed from the rough draft, indorsed by Mr. Belknap, " Copy to N. Peabody, 
Jany 20, 1791." — Eds. 

1791.] JOSIAH BARTLETT. 479 

to be a general intention among the members to favour 
the cause, I would not have any motion made w ch might 
subject me to the same mortification as I experienced in 
June, 1785. But if the gentlemen are disposed to do 
something w ch may shew their acceptance of my service, 
a clear grant would be my choice, because on either of 
the other proposals I might experience some embarrass- 

I am, Sir, w much respect, y r obliged hbl. servt. 


Kingstown, February 25 th , 1791. 

Rev d Sir, — Some time the begining of April last, 
just before our Spring Circuit commenced, I received 
your favor of the 6 th of March, 1790, and was much 
pleased to find you intended to continue the History of 
Newhampshire. The papers that were inclosed I sent 
to the persons to whom they were directed. Such as 
were not directed I gave to such persons as I thought 
most likely to give you proper information, and I fully 
determined as soon as the Circuit was over to collect and 
send you every information in my power that 1 should 
think would be useful to you in the business, more es- 
pecially the altercation in this State relative to Vermont. 
But at that time, being unexpectedly called to other 
business, and the latter part of summer and fall my ill 
state of health scarcely permitted me to give proper 
attention to the necessary business of the public, put it 
quite out of my power notwithstanding my inclination to 

* Hon. Josiah Bartlett, M. D., at this time President of New Hampshire, was born in 
Amesbury, Mass., Nov. 21, 1729. On reaching manhood he removed to New Hampshire, 
and began the practice of medicine, in which he achieved considerable success. He was a 
member of the Continental Congress for two years, and one of the signers of the Declara- 
tion of Independence. Subsequently he filled many important public offices. He died 
suddenly from a paralytic affection, May 19, 1795. — Eds. 


comply with your request. Tho' these circumstances 
has prevented me from giving such information as would 
otherwise have been in my power, yet I would hope no 
disadvantage will arise, as you have had a correspondance 
with many gentlemen of character & abilities in the State, 
who, I doubt not, have given you every information that 
would have been in my power to have given, and that 
the work will suffer no detriment on that account. 

The people of this State in general, and the most re- 
spectable in particular, are highly pleased that you have 
undertaken the further History of Newhampshire. The 
specimen given in the former volume has contributed to 
raise their expectations that it will be properly clone. 
The Legislature at their late session seemed pleased that 
you had proceeded in the business, and as a token of 
their approbation have voted you the sum of fifty pounds, 
to be paid out of the Treasury as a present. Myself and 
some others could have wished the sum greater ; but you 
are not unacquainted that the Legislature of this State 
in all their public grants have acted on a frugal plan, 
many times perhaps too much so. Nor has all the mem- 
bers a proper sense of the usefullness & importance of 
such a work, nor of the labor and expence of compiling 
it. Such as it is, I ask your acceptance of it, and, if you 
will empower any person to receive it, an order on the 
Treasury will be made out and the money paid on sight. 

I am, with much respect, your most obed* servant, 

Josiah Bartlett. 

Rev? Jeremy Belknap. 


State of New Hampshire. 

In House of Representatives, Feb 7 17 th , 1791. 
Voted, that the Rev. Jeremy Belknap have and receive 
fifty pounds out of the Treasury of this State, by order 


of the President, as a recompence and encouragement 
for his laudable undertaking of compiling & perfecting 
the History of New Hampshire. 
Sent up for concurrence. 

Moses Dow, Speaker. 

In Senate, same day, read & concurred. 

J. Peakson, Sec ry - 

A true copy. Attest, Joseph Pearson, Sec y - 


Atkinson, Feb? 26 th , 1791. 

Sir, — Inclosed you will have a specimen of the grati- 
tude and generosity of this State. However, I must do 
them the justice to say that the vote does not express 
the ideas of the Legislature, for the grant was design'd 
only as an intimation of something more substantial to 
be hereafter granted, and which, I think, will be likely 
to take place. For some time I was in doubt whether to 
oppose this trifle or not, fearing you would esteem it as 
affrontive, when compared with the benevolent & arduous 
undertaking of perpetuating the History of New Hamp- 
shire. However, I wish you may be induced to accept 
the very small token of gratitude, as it was without 
opposition; and you may rest assured that the small 
influence I have the hon r to possess in this State shall 
upon all proper occasions be exerted to procure a suitable 
acknowledgement of your merit ; and shall at all times 
esteem myself hon r d by executing your commands. 

I am, Sir, with sentiments of esteem, your most obed* 
and very h le ser', 

Nath l Peabody. 

Rev* M r Belknap. 



Rev d Jeremy Belknap, Boston. Free. Jere h Libbey. 

Portsmouth, March 18 th , 1791. 

Dear Sir, — The letter you sent me for the Secretary 
I delivered myself to him. He says he wants much to 
write you, & will as soon as he can find time. Inclosed is 
a letter, I think, from the President. If it contains your 
order, or rather his in your favour, shall I ask you how 
you mean to dispose of it ? My reasons are : the Court 
have order'd all specie orders to be rec d for any taxes due 
the State, but have not given the Treasurer leave to pay 
money for them out of the Treasury, and as we. the town 
of Portsmouth, owe some money to the State, and as 
Selectmen are doing all we can to pay it off, I mention it 
to you, that if we do not procure orders sufficient from 
our own inhabitants to pay what we owe, I have no doubt 
the Selectmen would, if in their power, purchase [yours], 
if it would serve you. I mention this [of my] own 
head, not from any intimation or [conversation had with 
them on the subject. If you have not rec d your order, 
or have not the direct line pointed out for receiving it, I 
would advise you to make application as soon as is con- 
venient, as the sooner you get it the more oppertunity 
you will have to dispose of it, as they will not always 
command the cash without a discount to 5 to 10 *ffi c e . 
Our friend, Judge Pickering, rec d one, & lodged it with 
the Treasurer for payment, and the Treasurer return'd 
it by me to him again, saying he must sell it to those who 
owed the State, but he could not pay any money for it, 
Is not this policy ? 

I am, dear Sir, your friend & servant, 

Jeremiah Libbey. 

You will remember, we, as Selectmen, die on the 25 th 

1791.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 483 


Boston, March 21, 1791. 

Dear Sir, — I have written you several letters, both 
while you was in England & since you have been in 
N. Scotia, but never had the pleasure of a line in return. 
When the 1 st vol. of y e Hist y of N. H. was printed, I gave 
one to M r John Peirce to be sent to you. I have also 
did. to him sev 1 of your books w h I borrowed out of y e 
library at Wolfboro' before it went to wreck with your 
other property in our late tumults. 

In the list of subscribers to my 2 d & 3 d vol. returned 
to me by M r Blowers I observe with pleasure your signa- 
ture. This encourages me to hope that, as you formerly 
patronized the work, you will not take it amiss that I 
should apply to you for some assistance. I have endeav- 
oured to explore every fountain of intelligence that is 
accessible, & have succeeded in some instances beyond 
my expectation ; nor would I leave any method unat- 
tempted by w ch it is possible for me to obtain as complete 
a knowledge as possible of the persons & things concern g 
w h I write. 

For that part of the history of which you may say, with 
the ancient hero of Troy, Quorum pars magna fid, I am fur- 
nished with the correspondence of " the Sons of Liberty " 
from 1766 to 1770, copies of the complaint of P. Livius, 
y r defence, & his replies, in 1772, some letters & minutes 
found among the MSS. of the late Col. Atkinson, the 
letters w h you wrote to the Ministry during the troubles 
about the Tea & the union of y e Colonies in 1774, printed 
in the Parliamentary Regs. With these & what I shall 
collect from the public records in N. H., whither I am 
now going to complete my compilation, & what I have 
minuted & remember of the transactions of that period, I 

* This letter is printed from Mr. Belknap's rough draft, which may differ somewhat 
from the letter actually sent. — Eds. 


shall form y e chapter of your administration. But I do 
most sincerely wish that I could converse with you on 
some of these various topics, because it is my intention 
& desire to give as candid an acc° of things as is consistent 
with truth. It is true I always was & shall appear in 
this work to be an advocate for the American side of the 
question w h was so long in debate w G. B., & w h is now 
determined by the supreme arbiter. But there were 
some things done by my countrymen w h I did not 
approve at the time, nor has the length of time w h has 
elapsed altered my opinion. One of these was the havoc 
of private property made by confiscations. On this & 
some other circumstances I could enlarge, but shall say 
no more than what is necessary to give a just idea of 
y e subject. 

I know not as yet whether any copy of the final deter- 
mine of the case w h Livius agitated in Eng d is on record 
or on file in y e Secy's Office. Lest perhaps I should miss 
of find g it there, will you be so good as to let me have 
it, or at least an abstract of it, & send it to me by the 
next vessel that shall come to Boston ? 

If there are any other matters which in your judgment 
I ought to be acquainted with, & which I shall not be able 
to obtain without your assistance, will you be so good as 
to mention them to me ? I shall receive such communi- 
cation as a particular favour. In particular please to 
tell me what were the causes of the removal of y r prede- 
cessor, & whether any alledged misconduct in y e mode 
of grant g lands & taking fees was one. 

Our governm* appears at last to be happily settled, 
& every friend to virtue & good order must wish it 
permanency. I hope that 25 years of controversy & 
revolution will be sufficient for the space of time w ch I 
have to exist on this globe. Were I to live to the age 
of Methuselah I should not wish to see another such 

1791.] JEREMY BELKNAP. 485 

The publication of my work is unavoidably delayed by 
the severity of the weather, w h has made it impossible to 
procure the paper till spring. It is now making in 
Pennsylvania, & I have the prospect of receiv g it in y e 
course of next month. You need not therefore fear that 
your communications will be too late if they come by 
the end of May or begin g of June. 

I am, d r Sir, with equal respect & affection as in 1773, 
Y r obliged friend & serv*, 

J. B. 

To Gov. Wentworth, at Halifax. 


Boston, March 23, 1791. 

g IR? — Your favour inc osing the vote of the f Assembly 
demands my thanks ; & I wish you would give me your 
advice respecting the mode in which it will be proper for 
me to express my sense of the favourable notice which 
they have taken of me & my labours. I esteem it as a 
mark of their approbation & an encouragement to pro- 
ceed, and as such I shall accept it. 

You will excuse my saying that I cannot view it as 
" a recompense," when you consider my attention & 
labour for more than eighteen years past in collecting, 
compiling, digesting, & copying the History, together 
with the expense & risque which I have incurred. The 
expense of publishing the first volume was upwards of 
£250 ; & I expect that these which I have in hand will 
cost £400, — the payment of which, excepting what the 
Assembly have granted, will depend on the sale of the 
books. The paper, printing, engraving, & binding, beside 

* Dr. Belknap preserved the rough draft of this letter ; but by the courtesy of our 
associate, the Hon. Mellen Chamberlain, we are enabled to print it from the copy actually 
sent, which is now in his valuable collection of autographs. There are some variations 
between the two copies. — Eds. 


incidental charges, must absolutely be paid for by the 
author ; for I cannot find that the tradesmen concerned 
will risque anything. 

I have lately been informed that there is an Academy 
set up in your neighbourhood & under your patronage. 
The state of literature will make an article in my account 
of New Hampshire ; I therefore request of you some 
account of this institution, — its date, its funds, the 
expense of tuition & boarding, the names of the precep- 
tors, & any other particulars which you may think proper 
to communicate. 

I am much obliged by your kind offers to serve me, 
& should be very happy in an opportunity to do you 
a kindness. When you come to this town, pray let me 
have the pleasure of seeing you at my house. 
I am, Sir, with respect, 

Y r obliged & obed fc serv*, 

Jeremy Belknap. 

Col. Peabody. 


Exeter, March 24 th , 1791. 
Dear Sir, — Your letter of the seventh of December 
last was received on my return from Concord, and in 
compliance with your request concerning " the dispute 
respecting government between New Hampshire and the 
towns on Connecticut River, and whether there was a 
resolve of the New Hampshire Assembly approving and 
giving leave for the erecting the Grants into a seperate 
government," must beg leave, at present, to refer you 
to the printed Journals of Congress for the years 1780, 
'81, and '82, the loan of which, I suppose, may be easily 
obtained in the town of Boston. 

* Joseph Pearson was appointed Secretary of State of New Hampshire in 1786, and 
held the office for twenty years. (Si'c Bell's History of Exeter, p. 39G.) — Eds. 

1791.] BENJAMIN RUSH. 487 

No law respecting Schools has been passed since that 
of the 18 th of June. 1789; v. page 251, octavo. 

I have herewith enclosed a copy of the last Laws 
printed. The General Court have at their late session 
revised, in part, the laws of said State, the titles of which 
are enclosed, the remainder to be compleated at the next 
session, and are to be printed in the course of the next 
summer & fall. 

The ferries upon Connecticut River were & are granted 
by the State of New Hampshire without any exception. 

M r Libbey was so kind as to deliver me your letter of 

the some time this month, which being mislaid, 

have almost forgot the contents ; but if my memory 
serves me, you requested to be informed in what man- 
ner you should acknowledge the grant of fifty pounds 
in your favor made by the General Court at their last 
session, which I suppose may be done by a letter to his 
Excellency President Bartlett, and which, as is custom- 
ary with public communications, will be laid before the 
General Court at their next sessions. 

I have also enclosed your proposals for printing by 
subscription, &c, by which it appears that I have received 
twenty-nine dollars, which shall be sent to M r Libbey at 
Portsmouth by the first safe opportunity which presents, 
agreeably to your request. 

I am, with sintiments of respect, Sir, 

Yotir most humble servant, 

Joseph Pearson. 

~Rev d . M r . Jeremy Belknap. 


Philadelphia, April 5 th , 1791. 

Dear Sir, — Your letter of the 20 th of March, and the 
Sermon to which you refer me, came safe to hand, for 
both of which please to accept of my thanks. I heartily 


concur with you in your opinions and remarks upon the 
subject of war, and as I can add nothing more pertinent 
to them, I shall give them a place in one of our papers, 
under the title of " extract of a letter from Boston." 

Mr. Thatcher's Sermon has merit. There can be no 
true greatness that is not founded upon Christian prin- 
ciples, and the men of this world are great only in pro- 
portion as they assume certain Christian virtues. All 
ages agree in believing Caesar & Henry the 4 th of France 
to have been great men. Perhaps they are unrivalled in 
the history of mankind. But to what do they owe the 
pre-eminence of their fame ? Not to their conquests, for 
Alexander surpassed them both in military exploits ; not 
to their talents, for Caesar has had many equals, and 
Henry many superiors in endowments of mind. The 
transcendent fascination of their names has arisen wholly 
from their magninimity in forgiving injuries, but this part 
of their characters is borrowed wholly -from Christian- 
ity. In both of them it was only a shining accom- 
plishment, and was founded in pride. In the Christian, 
the forgiveness of injuries is a virtue, and founded in 

I enclose you at last my letter upon the use of the 
Bible in schools. It has been well received in our city. 
Suppose you get it reprinted in your Magazine, and in 
some of your newspapers. I pray God to accompany it 
with his blessing wherever it is printed or read ! 

I am now engaged in composing a small work which I 
shall entitle " The Application of the Principles of Medi- 
cine to the Explanation of sundry Events, and particularly 
of the Diseases & Remedies mentioned in the Old & New 
Testament." In this work I shall tread on new ground, 
but my opinions will all tend to establish the truth and 
excellency of the Scriptures. One part Of this essay will 
aid our testimonies against the use of spirits. The labor 
of Egypt was supported by no other cordial than by leeks 

1791.] JOHN PINTARD. 489 

and onions, and the wars of the Jews only by wine, raisins, 
and cakes of figs, inclusive of common aliment. 

My breast is much mended since my last letter. I 
thank you for your prescription of a ride to the pines 
of New Hamshire, but I thank God such an excursion 
will not now be necessary. I consider long journies to 
new or distant countries as nearly the only radical cure 
for pulmonic complaints. 

Adieu, from, d r Sir, yours sincerely, 

Benj n Rush. 

P. S. To render the letter on the use of the Bible 
acceptable & useful, perhaps it had better appear as if 
it had been extracted from the Musaeum by one of your 

I shall attend to your request respecting the subscrip- 
tion to your History. 


New York, 6 th April, 1791. 

My reverend Friend, — I received your favor in- 
closing me a subscription for the last volumes of your 
History of New Hampshire. I was at that time occupied 
in the Legislature of this State, then in session, and, serv- 
ing my noviciate with a hearty disposition to render 
myself useful & acquit myself with propriety, was much 
engaged. I endeavoured to serve you also, with very 
little success, however. The disposition of our city is 
tolerably favorable to subscriptions, and punctuality in 
payments is perhaps as great here, some say greater, 
than in most other places. We are unaccustomed, how- 
ever, to advances, and this part of your proposals de- 
feated my applications. I think the whole number I 
obtained was but 6 or 8 names. If you have concluded 
to go on with your work I will stand pledged for them. 


I sincerely wish you may have met with better success 
in other places, & regret that my earnest endeavours to 
serve have been so fruitless. I fear least you will charge 
me with neglect in advising you. But inattention or 
remissness is my least fault. My avocations, especially 
as a citizen, are numerous, and I can seldom steal a 
moment for private or literary correspondence. Accept 
this as an apology, and should you commit your labours 
to the press I will leave no means unemployed to pro- 
mote a sale. 

My passion for American history increases, tho' I have 
but detached moments & scant means of gratifying it. 
To tie myself down in some measure to the study of our 
annals, I assumed the task of drawing up a kind of Amer- 
ican Chronology, which appears monthly at the end of the 
New York Magazine, with the view also of contributing 
my mite towards the support of a periodical publication 
of that nature in our city. It is quite in its infancy, but 
is at present a few months more than a yearling, and if 
nursed may arrive at manhood. But it is hard to rear a 
superstructure without materials for a foundation ; and 
tho' such are in the quarries of our State, they are not so 
easily drawn forth as with you. For I will not own that 
we live under a Beotian atmosphere. I have proceeded 
as far as Robertson leads in his History, which with diffi- 
culty I have abridged, wishing to render my subject 
something more than a barren date of events. I shall 
do pretty well as long as Prince holds out. But shall be 
at a loss after I part with him, & fear I shall find it diffi- 
cult to keep up my narrative should I persevere, without 
more reading & labour than I shall be able to spare. 
Perhaps thro' Thomas this Magazine may have wandered 
as far as the regions of Genius. If so, you will perceive 
my progress, and how little originality I have to boast of. 
I shall be much obliged to you if you will point out the 
sources by which I may derive authentic information, 

1791.] JOHN PINTARD. 491 

and if I can I will draw from them. I wish to hear 
whether your Antiquarian Society is commencing, or its 
prospects. An ace* will be given in some future Maga- 
zine of our Tammany Society (we have lately uncanon- 
ized him). This being a strong national society, I 
engrafted an antiquarian scheme of a museum upon it. 
It makes a small progress with a small fund, & may pos- 
sibly succeed. We have got a tolerable collection of 
pamphlets, mostly modern, with some history, of which 
I will also send you some day an account. If your so- 
ciety succeeds, we will open a regular correspondence & 
interchange of communications, duplicates, &c. 

If my plan once strikes root, it will thrive. Tell our 
friend Morse that by the next edition of his Geography 
our city will afford' a better picture of the progress of civil 
society than in his last. I wish to know when he expects 
to emit another impression, & I wish to contribute thereto, 
but dare not promise. 

Doctor Cutler wrote me a few weeks past, and inclosed 
I send an answer ; as it was on a literary subject, it is 
open to your perusal. Please to forward it. Our Society 
proposes celebrating the completion of the third century 
of the discovery of America, on the 12 th of October, 
1792, with some peculiar mark of respect to the memory 
of Columbus, who is also our patron. We think besides a 
procession & an oration, — for we have annual orations, — 
of erecting a column to his memory. I wish to know, if 
possible, the dimensions & cost of your monument on 
Beacon Hill, to guide our calculations. Can you furnish 
the requisite information ? You are happily relieved 
from further trouble by my having arrived at the end of 
my paper. I hope your good family is well, not forget- 
ting my young Freshman. With every wish for your 
success & prosperity, I am, good Sir, your friend, 

John Pintard. 



Ex R , 13 Ap 1 , 1791. 
Sir, — Permit me to return you my thanks for your 
obliging favour communicating to me notice of the grant 
w h the Ass? of N. H. had made to me of £50. Hav g rec d 
y e m° from the Treas r , I accept it as a mark of y e public 
approbation of my design to continue the History of the 
State, & beg you, Sir, to communicate my grateful ac- 
knowledgm* to the Assembly in such a manner as to you 
may seem most proper. 

His Exc y Presid 1 Bartlett. 

Rev* Jeremy Belknap, Boston. 

Portsmouth, April 30th, 1791. 
Sir, — Agreeably to your request I have examined the 
files of Keeue Court, October Term, 1782, but can find 
nothing of importance relative to the riot which took 
place there about that time. I will therefore endeavour 
to give you the best account I can from my recollection. 
The government of Vermont had usurped a jurisdiction 
on the east side of Connecticut River in the Counties of 
Cheshire and Grafton, in which a considerable number of 
the inhabitants of each of those counties acquiesced, not- 
withstanding which the Superior Courts of Newhampshire 
continued to sit in Cheshire County at the usual stated 
times after the year 1778. Whether the Inferior Courts 
were interrupted or not, I cannot say. In 1782, Sept r , 
an Inf r Court was held at Keene, at which a number of 
persons appeared & violently opposed the Court's pro- 
ceeding to business, and effected their purpose so far as 

* This letter is printed from Mr. Belknap's rongh draft. — Eds. 

t Nathaniel Adams was a grandson of Judge William Parker, and was for many year? 
Clerk of the Court. (See Brewster's Rambles about Portsmouth, pp. 119, 120.) — Eds. 

1791.] NATHANIEL ADAMS. 493 

to cause an adjournment, but at the same term three of 
the leaders of the mob were arrested and bound over to 
the Superior Court which sat the first Tuesday of October 
following. In the mean time these persons and others 
were very busy in promoting discord & sedition, and en- 
deavouring to raise a party to oppose the sitting of the 
Superior Court, and it was reported that two hundred 
persons had associated and armed themselves for that 
purpose. On the morning before Court several of the 
leaders came to the Judges' chambers, & presented them 
with a petition the substance of which was to desire the 
Court might be adjourned & no legal proceedings had 
while the troubles in which the country was then involved 
existed. They were informed the Court could come to no 
determination on the subject but in open Court. If they 
would then attend, they should have an answer. Accord- 
ingly, when the Court met their petition was publickly 
read, and the consideration of it postponed to the next 
day, & the Court proceeded to business. The Grand Jury 
were impanneled, & those who were bound over were 
indicted for riotously assaulting & compelling the Inf r 
Court to desist from their lawful business. Upon which 
indictment they were arraigned, plead guilty, & put 
themselves on the mercy of the Court, who forgave the 
offence, and the mob peaceably dispersed, and never gave 
the Courts of Law any further interruption. 

The petition they presented to the Court is not in my 
office, & the indictment is in common form for a riot. 
The insurgents were principally inhabitants of the eastern 
side of the river. 

I shall cheerfully send you abstracts or copies of any 
papers in my office, which you suppose may be beneficial 
to you in compiling your History. 

I am, with the greatest respect, Sir, 

Your most obedient, humble servant, 

Nath^ Adams. 

Rev* Jeremy Belknap. 




Boston, May 6, 1791. 

An Agreement is this day made between Jeremy 
Belknap on the one part & Mess? Thomas & Andrews 
on the other part, that the said Thomas & Andrews shall 
print 800 copies of the second volume of the s d Belknap's 
History of New Hampshire on paper purchased by s d 
Belknap, & delivered to them, agreeable to the said Bel- 
knap's manuscript, & in a manner as nearly resembling 
the first volume of s d History, printed by Robert Aitken 
in 1784, — a specimen of which is given to s d Thomas & 
Andrews by said Belknap ; and the s d Belknap hereby 
promises & contracts with the s d Thomas & Andrews 
that for every sheet of letter rkess so printed, containing 
sixteen pages, that is, for 800 copies of every such sheet, 
he, the s d Belknap, will pay to the s d Thomas & Andrews, 
or their order, thirty-seven shillings & six pence Lawful 
Money within three months after the delivery of the 
whole ; & for whatever sum may be due after the expira- 
tion of s d three months, the s d Belknap will pay lawful 
interest till paid. 

Provided, nevertheless, that in case the s d Belknap 
should contract with the s d Thomas & Andrews for the 
printing of the third volume of s d History, the s d three 
months shall be accounted to begin from the delivery of 
the last sheets of the s d third volume, & not before. 

Provided, also, that if any contract be made for the 
s? third volume it be made within one week after the 
printing of the second volume be finished. 

Jeremy Belknap. 
Thomas & Andrews. 

The following memorandum is indorsed on the reverse of the con- 
tract : — 

1791.] ' JOHN WHEELOCK. 495 

Memorandum. May 23, 1791. An agreement is this 
day made between Thomas & Andrews on y e one part & 
Jeremy Belknap on the other part, that the s? Thomas & 
Andrews shall reprint the 2 d & 3 d sheets of the 2 d volume 
of s d Belknap's History of N. Hamp., 300 copies for three 
pounds and 300 copies of each of the other sheets already 
contracted for at 3/9 per sheet, & the s d Belknap will make 
payment on y e same terms as are stipulated in the con- 
tract on y e other side of this paper. The above inter- 
lineation of three pounds being made by consent of 

Jeremy Belknap. 

Thomas & Andrews. 


Dartmouth College, May 14 th , 1791. 

Dear Sir, — Your favour of Feb 7 26 but lately came 
to hand. It lay a long time on the Keene road. The 
subscription for the History of New Hampshire I have 
particularly attended to, from love to knowledge & re- 
spect for the author. As it is now called for, it will be 
returned by the post. Capt. MacClure had a blank 
lodged in his hands, but concluded not to make use of it, 
but of that sent to me, as one might more conveniently 
answer the purpose in regard to the subscribers in this 
vicinity. I am sorry that we could not procure a greater 
number of subscriptions in this neighbourhood. But the 
fact is, that many are desirous of obtaining the work, but 
are not able to raise the cash. It is very scarce in this 
quarter. If they could have paid for it in produce, there 
would have been, I believe, a large number of subscrib- 

* John Wheelock, LL. D., second President of Dartmouth College, was born in Lebanon, 
Conn., Jan. 28, 1754, and was one of the first class which graduated at that institution. In 
1779, on the death of his father, he was made President. He died in office, April 4, 1817. 
It was during his administration that the celebrated attempt was made to change the 
original charter of the College. — Eds. 


ers. Some did not subscribe who said that they should 
incline to purchase after the books shall be published, as 
they hope they shall then have the money or the means 
of procuring. 

I have sent repeatedly to Col. Payne for his pamphlet? 
and enquired of all others about here who might be likely 
to have it, but have not been able to get a single copy. 
I heard that M r Jacob of Windsor, in Vermont, had one. 
I accordingly sent to him. The bearer informed me that 
M r Jacob said he had had one, and that he would search 
for it, and would send it to me (if not lost) for you. I 
shall desire the post to cross the river on his return, and 
call on him, and if he has found it to take it of him and 
forward it to you. 

I have communicated your compliments and wishes to 
M r Woodward, who says that he has not examined the 
papers of that old Convention for years, and that they 
are jumbled together in a very deranged & confused state. 
He says, however, that he should be glad to answer your 
wishes & serve your important undertaking so soon as he 
can have time to extract any minutes from that chaotic 
mass of transactions. 

We are under a thousand obligations to you for your 
attention in procuring the box of cariosities in addition to 
your last gift of the albatross 1 head & the Life of D Mather. 
M r Curtis promised to take them, and we 1 expect that 
they will be soon on the road, if not by this time. 

Command my services in any respect with regard to 
your interesting undertaking, the cause of knowledge, or 
your personal felicity. 

In sentiment of sincere respect, I am, dear Sir, 
Your most obedient & humble serv*, 

J. Wheelock. 

1791.] JOHN WENTWOKTH. 497 


The Reverend Jeremy Belknap, fyc, fyc, Boston. 

Friar Lawrence's Cell, near Halifax, 
May 15 th , 1791. 

My dear Sir, — It is a long time since I have received 
such sincere pleasure as your letter of 21 st March has 
given me ; and I should have acknowledged it by the 
Alligator frigate, but she sailed so suddenly that there 
was not time to send to me here (about 6 miles from 
town) and return before she got away. Some of the 
letters you mention to have wrote to me I have 
answered, particularly those I reced. in England, and I 
think once from this country, but conveyances in our 
small coasters are very uncertain. The skippers are gen- 
erally illiterate, & do not think of anything which does 
not immediately concern their cargo ; by this means cor- 
respondence has hitherto been much obstructed. The 
books returned to M r Peirce arriv'd safe during my 
absence into the woods on my public duty, which has 
hitherto generally taken from five to seven months in 
ev'ry year, & I find has loaded my constitution with 
rheumatic complaints; but am in hopes rest & a more 
comfortable regimen will restore me. These I hope to 
enjoy this year, being about to sail for England on busi- 
ness that may detain me six months from this country. 
There and everywhere else I shall rejoice to render you 
ev'ry agreeable service in my power; for altho' my 
letters have not reached you, and I have not done my 
heart justice in writing more frequently, yet be assured 
I have not known the least diminution of friendship and 
affectionate regard toward you. I accordingly was much 
pleased on hearing you were continuing the History qf 
N. Hampshire, having rece'd so much satisfaction from 
the first volume, and being myself more interested in 



the two next. I have herewith sent you the papers you 
desire, as far as I can find them. Most of my papers were 
destroy'd during the late tumults; both public & private 
were at several times burned. Their loss has been often 
very inconvenient to me since, and is now particularly 
regretted, as they might have been useful to you. How- 
ever, all that remain I confide to your friendly discretion, 
which will readily suggest the great caution necessary 
that these communications should not appear to be from 
me. You will best understand the displeasure of Gov* 
ag* my late uncle ; by a very private paper you '1 find in 
the budget, wherein I wrote a hasty explanation & de- 
fence of the good old gen* for the information of my noble 
friend & patron, thro' whom 1 prevailed to obtain time for 
him to resign, which saved all the disgrace w h might 
have attended his removal, especially at [as] it appeared 
he resigned in favor of his nephew. This memoir, being 
confidential, must not be publish'd, tho* you can gather 
from it what maybe necessary. The same I would re- 
quest for all the other papers. If in any future time the 
whole can be safely returned, it may be best ; if not, I rely 
on the truth, esteem, & regard I have always experienced 
in you that they be burned, & never seen by any other 
person than yourself. In my dispute with M r L., it is prob- 
able he met great support from the interests of all those 
who wished to succeed me. They thereby became so deeply 
engaged to him that they procur'd his appointm* to be 
Ch. Justice of N. H. ; but this upon more mature consid- 
eration was tho't too likely to produce trouble, & he had 
a more lucrative office in Canada. During the siege of 
Quebec by M r Arnold, part of his house, being properly 
situated, was used as a guard house. On the attack, his 
servant was in action, & ivhcn over M r L. himself appeared. 
He also sometimes before the assault walk[ed] up to the 
walls. Upon the repulse of the Americans, he wrote home 
a pompous acco't of his services. " His house a guard 

1791.] JOHN WENTWORTH. 499 

house, he himself often at the wheelbarrow in repairing 
the fortifications, and at all other times with a brown 
musquet doing duty with & encouraging the citizens." 
These things were artfully told to the K. just in the 
moment of joy for the defeat of the enemy & safety of 
the city, w h was much apprehended ; and it being sug- 
gested that the Ch. Ju s . of Quebec was vacant, it was 
immediately given to him. The fact was, that he was 
remarkably shy on all the active business, as I was told 
by a gen* present thro' the whole, and only appeared 
to save appearances, w h he afterwards so well improved. 
But his restless spirit urged him to oppose & obstruct 
Gov r Carleton's measures (now Lord D.), who found it 
necessary to supersede him, & wrote home his reasons. 
Some informality in the manner was discovered, & M r L. 
was restored ; but persisting in violence & opposition, 
he was again suspended by Sir Fr. Haldimand, who suc- 
ceeded Sir Guy Carleton in the Gov*. I know not what 
is now become of him, but during all the comotions that 
agitated America he ,was certainly at market, & ready to 
work for the best bidder & actually engaged on both 
sides. He is an artful, sensible, industrious, dangerous 
man, and I most certainly would have bought him had I 
not too unwisely relyed on my integrity for defence and 
support. For I now declare to you, in private friendship, 
that on a review of all my public conduct to this day I 
acted with honest zeal for the King's service and the real 
good of his subjects, which I always did & do now think 
were inseparable ; nor did I ever know any intentions to 
impose arbitrary laws on America, or to establish any sys- 
tem repugnant to British liberty, & I do verily beleive, 
had the true, wise, & open measures been embraced on 
both sides, that their union would have been many years 
established and their prosperity wonderfully increased. 
The Independance having been consented to by the Gov* 
which entrusted me with its powers, I do most cordially 


wish the most extensive, great, & permanent blessings to 
the United States, and of course rejoice at the establish- 
ment of their Federal Constitution, as a probable means 
of their happiness. If there is anything partial in my 
heart on this case, it is that New Hampshire, my native 
country, may arise to be among the most brilliant mem- 
bers of the Confederation, as it was my zealous wish, 
ambition, and unremitted endeavor to have led her to 
among the Provinces while under my aclm 8 . For this 
object nothing appeared to me too much. My whole 
heart & fortune were devoted to it, & I do flatter myself 
not without prospect of some success. 

If the bundle of papers prove useful to you, they will 
therein do me the best service ; if otherwise, I hope their 
being transmitted will serve to evince my ready dispo- 
sition toward your wishes, which you may be assured you 
will find me at all times attached to with all the stedfast- 
ness and zeal of friendship & respect. 

I am, my dear Sir, very truely, your sincere friend, 

J. Wentworth. 

Reverend Jeremy Belknap. 


Bo., May 24, 1791. 

Sir, — When I was at Exeter I left a letter with the 
Sec y for y r Exc y acknowledging the rec* of £50 granted 
to me by the Ass y of your State as an encourag' to pro- 
ceed in my History of N. H., & requesting you t6 make 
known my grateful accept 6 of the same at the next meet? 
of the Ass y in such a manner as to you should seem most 
proper. It would have given me great pleasure if my 
engagements had permitted me to return home through 

* From Mr. Belknap's rough draft, indorsed by hfm, "Copy to President flartlett, 
May 2i, 1791.". — Ei>s. 

1791] JEREMY BELKNAP. 501 

Kingston & pay my respects in person to y r Exc y , but 
this was impossible 

By the assistance thus afforded me, together with what 
has been advanced by subscribers, I have begun the print- 
ing of the 2 d & 3 d vols, of y e History, & hope to have 
them finished some time in the course of the ensuing 
summer. By the returns of subscriptions I find so many 
persons desirous of having whole sets that I shall be 
obliged to reprint the first volume, having not eno' of y e 
former edition on hand to supply y m . This will put me 
to an additional expense, and yet I have no certainty that 
the number wanted will be sufficient to warrant my in- 
curring that expense. Could I be assured of the sale of 
300 more in addition to those w ch are already subscribed 
for, I should be relieved from all difficulty. 

When I made application to the Assembly, in 1785, for 
their countenance & assistance to this work, it was in 
contemplation by a committee with whom I conversed to 
purchase a number of my first volume, to be distributed 
among the several towns in the State & members of Ass y , 
& I believe they made their report accordingly, but it was 
not done. Should such an idea be adopted by the Assem- 
bly at their next meeting, & should they in consequence 
direct the Treasurer to subscribe for 300 sets, & advance 
part of the money at the time of subscribing & pay the 
remainder on the delivery of the books, I could then go 
forward with the work, not only without fear, but with 
full satisfaction, & should think myself highly honoured 
by such a generous patronage. 

May I ask the favour of your Exc y to communicate 
this proposal to the Assembly as early in the session as 
may be convenient. Should they be desirous of con- 
ferring with me by letter, I shall be ready to obey their 
commands. It will be inconvenient for me to attend 
them in person, because I am & shall be daily occupied in 
examining & correcting the proof-sheets as they come 
from the press. 


I beg leave further to suggest, that, according to y e sub- 
scription papers w h at present are returned, the number 
subscribed for in Massachusetts exceeds that in N. H. in 
the proportion of two to one. As I propose printing the 
names of subscribers this circumstance may operate to 
the disadv 8 of your State in the minds of some, as if it 
was not so earnest to encourage a literary work calculated 
for its benefit as one of its sister States ; but should what 
I propose take place, the balance of encouragement will 
fall on the side of N. H. 

I would also beg leave to observe, that the several 
classes of tradesmen whom I employ in this work do not 
run any risque at all. The paper-maker is paid by the 
rheam ; the printer by the sheet; the bookbinder by the 
volume; and the engraver at a stipulated price. I ex- 
pect to be the bookseller myself, & I am the only person 
concerned whose expense is certain & whose profit is un- 
certain. I must pay them for their work, whether the 
books are sold or not. If they are sold I shall be a 
gainer, & if not a loser. This is precisely the state of the 
case, & I am the more particular on this head, lest it 
should be suggested that the advantage arising from the 
sale of the books would belong to the printers & book- 
sellers, rather than to the author. 


The Rev d M r Jeremy Belknap, at Boston. Rev d M r Green. 

Philad a , 6 th June, 1791. 

Dear Sir, — I regret that I have been so unsuccessful 
in obtaining subscriptions for your History. Our citizens 
have been so- worn out in that way lately that there is a 
risk of being offended by only applying for them. The 
subscription paper hung up for several months in Dob- 
son's bookstore, the most public place of resort for liter- 

1791.] BENJAMIN RUSH. 503 

ary people in our city, and yet I find only the names of 
D r Barton & myself in it. Notwithstanding this seeming 
neglect of your work, I am satisfied it w 7 ill sell well if a few 
copies of it are sent to this city. Several works proposed 
for publication by our citizens have lately perished among 
us from the want of encouragement. Either our readers 
want the taste or our authors want the servility that ensure 
success of works of learning & genius in other countries. 

Your physician when at college & your present family 
physician do not disagree so much as you imagine. In re- 
cent sprains attended with inflammation, cold applications 
alone are proper. In sprains attended with pain k weak- 
ness only,. without inflammation, hot applications are to be 
preferred. The great fault of all our systems and books 
of medicine is, they prescribe for diseases by certain names. 
The philosophy of medicine consists in suiting our reme- 
dies to certain conditions of the system. These vary in 
different persons labouring under the same disease ; they 
vary in different ages & seasons, & they even vary in 
different stages of the same disease. The last variation 
has been too little attended to ; and hence the source of 
many disputes among physicians about the efficacy of the 
same remedies. 

Have you read Paine's & Priestley's answers to Burke's 
pamphflet ? They are both masterly performances, altho' 
they possess different species of merit. Paine destroys 
error by successive flashes of lightning. Priestley wears 
it away by successive strokes of electricity. The gov- 
ernment, both civil & eclesiastical, of England must un- 
dergo a change. Corruption there boils over. It would 
have been difficult for that country to have escaped the 
influence of the example of the United States upon their 
affairs ; but France is too near them not to awaken them. 
Mankind have hitherto treated republican forms of gov- 
ernment as divines now treat the doctrine of final restitu- 
tion. Both have been condemned before an appeal had 


been made to experiments; for both have been accused 
of leading to disorder & licentiousness. Both charges, I 
believe, are equally destitute of foundation. The charges 
might with more reason be made against monarchy and 
the present doctrines of all the Protestant churches. 
What disorders have not existed under kingly gover- 
nments? And what crime can be named against God, 
against man, or against society, which has [not?] been 
perpetrated by men who believe in endless punishment ? 

A belief in God's universal love to all his creatures, and 
that he will finally restore all those of them that are mis- 
erable to happiness, is a polar truth. It leads to truths 
upon all subjects, more especially upon the subject of 
goverment. It establishes the equality of mankind ; it 
abolishes the punishment of death for any crime, & con- 
verts jails into houses of repentance & reformation. 

All truths are related, or rather there is but one truth. 
Republicanism is a part of the truth of Christianity. It 
derives power from its true source. It teaches us to view 
our rulers in their true light. It abolishes the false glare 
which surrounds kingly goverment, and tends to promote 
the true happiness of all its members, as well as of the 
whole world, for peace with everybody is the true interest 
of all republics. 

The bearer of this letter, M r Green, is one of the min- 
isters of our city, much respected for his excellent private 
character, & universally admired as a preacher. I am 
sure you will be pleased with him, for you will rind him 
at home upon all subjects. 

I enclose you a new edition of my tract on spirituous 
liquors. I have lately met with a strong confirmation of 
our principles upon this subject in Bruce's Travels. He 
6ays that spirits are considered as poisons in the hot cli- 
mates of Egypt, Arabia, & Abissinia. 

Adieu from, my dear Sir, your sincere friend, 

Benj* Rush. 

1791.] MICHAEL JOY. 505 


Rev d M r J. Belknap, Boston. Cap 1 Scott. 

London, 1 st Augt, 1791. 

Dear Sir, — I learn with pleasure from your favours 
of the 6 May & 10 June that you have advanced so far 
with your History. I was too much gratified by the first 
volume not to wish the complete execution of the work, 
for my own sake. Since I have had the pleasure of a 
personal acquaintance with the author, I have additional 
reasons for wishing it success. 

I do not think your information respecting Dilly well 
founded. He is no doubt wealthy, & that is a substantial 
reason for putting your property into his hands ; but he 
is by no means indolent, & from the particular line he is 
in, & the kind of customers who frequent his shop, to 
me he appears the very best man for your purpose. Had 
I thought otherways I should have taken leave to hint it 
to you when you first proposed putting the books into 
his hands. With Longman I have done business to the 
amount of some thousands with entire satisfaction, & I 
have accounts w 7 ith several other booksellers, good men, 
but by no means so proper for your purpose as Dilly 
(with whom, by the by, I never had any connexion), & 
therefore I would recommend your sending the books to 
him directly, & not thro' any person here. 

I have been confined for a few weeks, & am now so 
much occupied that I have only time to assure you of the 
cordial wishes of, 

D r Sir, y r friend & hble. serv*, 

Mich. Joy. 



The Reverend Jeremy Belknap, Boston. Favored by Fitch Hall, Esq. 

New York, 1 th October, 1791. 

My reverend Friend, — I have received your favor 
of the 13 th September last, inclosing an invoice of a box 
of y r History of N. Hampshire, received also by Capt. 
Barnard in good order, amounting to £16.2.6 y r cur y , 
equal to £21.10 N. Yk money. I am indebted to you for 
more favors in the epistolary way than one. But such 
have been my pursuits, & so pressing my business, that I 
really have had but few moments to devote to my lit- 
erary friends, which must be my apology with respect to 
yourself. My fate, or fortune rather, has been very way- 
ward since I parted with you ; in which time, owing to 
too much confidence in mankind, I have lost what I once 
thought a fortune. It has pleased God, however, to crown 
my unwearied industry with success during the last year, 
& I feel happy in the prospect of closing a year of labor 
with paying all I owe on my account, & a great deal 
more that securityship for others has involved me in, 
with the pleasing prospect of good business arising from 
a good repute, which I trust always to preserve, that will 
enable me to secure a comfortable support whilst I have 
health to my little flock. 

I feel very happy in the use you have made of my 
acquaintance with you to serve you. As a proof of my 
inclination, I send you herewith the amount of y r invoice 
of books, & shall trust to the sale, of which I have no 
doubt, for my reimbursement. I do this with perfect 
ease to myself, & with the greater pleasure, as v I hope it 
may serve one whom I highly esteem. Whenever your 
3 d vol. is printed, forward as many as will complete the 
sets sent me, & I will see you repaid. I wish you every 
success in your undertaking, more than I fear you will 

1791.] BULKLEY OLCOTT. * 507 

attain. If I can any ways serve you, intimate your wishes. 
I snail be as frank in declining, if not in my power, as I 
am ready to offer my services where it is. My best regards 
to your good lady & family, with my little Freshman. 
I am, with every sentiment of esteem, your affectionate 

friend > John Pintard. 


Reverend Jeremy Belknap, Seven Star Lane, Boston. Favor d by 
M r Evans. To be left at M r Read's. 

Charlestown, N. H., Dec r 26, 1791. 

Eev d and dear Sir, — I received your friendly epistle 
of the 29 th of Oct r , with the contents, for which I sin- 
cerely thank you. 

I should not have neglected an answer to it untill this 
time, were it not that I have ever since been much un- 
well, and poorly able to attend to my own necessary 
business ; and this must be my apology for the very im- 
perfect return I am now able to make you. 

I am greatly pleased with the curious and industrious 
spirit you exert in researches into everything in your 
power that may be of advantage to our common country. 
Such laudable designs merit well of the publick ; and you 
will not, I trust, loose your own recompence. 

I proceed to give you some brief account of those 
matters which are the principal objects of y r request. 
The academy in this town is a large, commodious building 
for the purpose, — will be compleatly finishd next spring. 
A charter for it was granted by the Assembly of this 
State last winter, incorporateing a board of seven trustees. 
There is as yet no fund established for it ; one is now in 

* Rev. Bulkley Olcott was born in Bolton, Conn., Oct. 28, 1733, and graduated at Yale 
College in 1758. In May, 1761, he was ordained minister of the church in Charlestown, 
N. H., in which office he continued until his death, June 26, 1793. (See Saunderson's His- 
tory of Charlestown, N. H. pp. 218-225.) — Eds. 


agitation by way of Lottery. If this should fail, some 
other mode will be attempted. The present preceptor is 
Lem 11 Hedge, A. M. The price of tuition is 2 dollars per 
head per quarter ; ditto of boarding children, 4 s per 
week ; of grown persons, 6 s . They are instructed in read- 
ing, writeing, arithmetic, Latin and English grammar, the 
art of speaking, geography, and other parts of literature 
that they may wish for. It contains at present about 50 
members, males and females. 

As to the enquiry concerning the consump